(TNS) — The University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Maryland, Baltimore announced details Tuesday of a joint national security academy.
Officials said the academy, which would be located in College Park, will enable them to expand their current programs in cybersecurity, law, criminology and counterterrorism.
It's part of a larger effort by state officials to lure the FBI's new headquarters to Maryland.
Maryland officials have been working for years to land the headquarters in Prince George's County -- an effort that has pitted the state against neighboring Virginia, which also wants the development.
Maryland has argued that the FBI would benefit from being in proximity to educational institutions aligned with its mission.
The FBI is headquartered in the J. Edgar Hoover Building in downtown Washington. The building can no longer accommodate the agency's work -- which is now scattered in satellite offices throughout the region -- and is in need of significant repair.
The Obama administration is considering three sites: Greenbelt, Landover and Fairfax County, Va. The General Services Administration, which is overseeing the project, received an unknown number of proposals from developers earlier this summer.
The development would almost certainly have some economic impact on Prince George's County, even though many FBI employees already live in Maryland. On Tuesday, elected officials stressed the idea that the impact could be felt beyond Washington's suburbs.
"This benefits the entire state," said House Speaker Michael E. Busch, an Anne Arundel County Democrat.
Other local officials attending the event Tuesday included state Sen. Paul G. Pinsky, a Prince George's County Democrat, and Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman, a Republican.
In June, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan offered $317 million in infrastructure and traffic improvements to accommodate a new headquarters in Greenbelt. He offered $255 million for the Landover site, which would require fewer improvements.
Officials said the partnership would combine College Park's expertise in criminology and counterterrorism and the Baltimore school's specialties in law, cybersecurity and technology.
The academy, which would be located on the College Park campus, would also offer instruction to FBI agents, facilitate internships for students, and foster research between students and professionals.
Maryland's congressional delegation has been pushing for the project since at least 2012.
"From proximity to Washington and transit connections to world-class institutions of research and higher education and premier cyber security and defense facilities, there is no doubt that Maryland has the two best sites for the FBI's new, consolidated headquarters," the seven Democratic members of the state's delegation to the House of Representatives said in a statement.
©2016 The Baltimore Sun, distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.