Alumnus Appointed to ICE Firearms Unit

Chris Cronen, a 1991 graduate of Sam Houston State University’s College of Criminal Justice, recently was promoted to Deputy Director of the National Firearms and Tactical Training Unit (NFTTU) at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The unit is the single focal point for firearms and the use of force issues within ICE, the second largest investigative arm of the U.S. government. The NFTTU, which serves more than 10,000 armed employees, is responsible for firearms, ammunitions and body armor as well as training and policy. It also provides armory services to U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Federal Protective Services.

"We are responsible for firearms training and use of force policy," Cronen said.

Before moving to ICE headquarters in Washington, D.C., Cronen served as firearms, defensive tactics, and Special Response Team (SRT) train-the-trainer for the unit in Ft. Benning, GA. That facility is responsible for developing and delivering advanced firearms, defensive tactics and advanced use of force-related training for ICE.

Created in March 2003, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the largest investigative branch of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The agency was created after 9/11, by combining the law enforcement arms of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and the former U.S. Customs Service, to more effectively enforce our immigration and customs laws and to protect the United States against terrorist attacks. At the time, Cronen was employed by INS, serving as a deportation officer in Laredo, Texas and, previously, as an immigration inspector in San Diego.

Cronen graduated from SHSU with a bachelor degree in Criminal Justice, with a minor in Police Science. He pursued graduate studies before joining the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. He also enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he served for four years.

Cronen credits SHSU and the Lambda Alpha Epsilon (LAE) fraternity for starting him on the road to law enforcement success.

"The CJ staff was very personable," said Cronen. "At the time, the college was rated second in the nation for criminal justice. The tenured staff spent significant time mentoring us on what classes would be beneficial, how to structure our work load and assisting us with direction and purpose in what would be our chosen profession. A significant portion of my time at SHSU was spent in the Criminal Justice Center. The LAE provided me with additional direction and peer support through friendships that have lasted all the way to the present day."

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