Friday, September 28, 2012

The journey begins...

Well, I am headed to the 251st session of the FBI National Academy (aka the FBI NA or just the NA). For those of you who may not be familiar with the program, let me take the opportunity in this first post to give you a little background.

The National Academy was created following a 1930 study by the Wickersham Commission that recommended the centralization and standardization of the law enforcement training throughout the United States. Initially called the FBI Police Training School, the NA graduated its first class in 1935.  Course work has changed throughout the years with early sessions consisting of courses focusing on scientific aids in crime detection, effective use of police information, innovations in criminal investigation, and police administration. During World War II, courses in espionage and sabotage were added.  Current courses offerings are varied with individual students choosing undergraduate or graduate level coursework covering the broad areas of Law, Behavioral Science, Forensic Science, Leadership Development, Communication, and Health/Fitness.  Students can satisfy these requirements in a variety of ways and can tailor their course load based on their own interests and training needs.  For instance, my schedule will consist of mostly graduate level courses to include:  Psychology of Leadership, Labor Law Issues for Law Enforcement Administrators, Solving Ethical Dilemmas in Law Enforcement, Interviewing Strategies Through Statement Analysis, Investigative Analysis of Verbal and Nonverbal Behavior, and Fitness in Law Enforcement.

The NA is held at the FBI Academy located on the U.S. Marine Corps Base at Quantico, Virginia, near Washington, D.C.  Each session is comprised of approximately 250 officers who represent every state in the union as well as many foreign countries.  Approximately 10% of the officers attending the NA come from law enforcement agencies outside the United States.  The average NA student is 41 years old and has 16 years of law enforcement experience. Approximately one out of every seven NA graduates is the head of a department. Over 37,000 law enforcement officers have attended the NA since 1935.

Only 1/2 of one percent of US law enforcement officers are selected to attend the FBI NA.  I feel very honored and privileged to have this opportunity.  Our former Director Ernie Ellis nominated me in 2009, and current Director Chris Wuchenich worked to secure my appointment several months ago.  While I am here, life goes on, so it is also because of support I am receiving back home that I have this opportunity.  My wife will be caring for our two children as a single parent for the next 11 weeks.  At the office, Maj. Jim Miles, Lt. Teena Gooding, and Lt. Ron Millhouse will be picking up the slack and running my areas of responsibility in my absence.

Upon graduation, I will become the third currently employed graduate at the USC Division of Law Enforcement and Safety, joining Director Wuchenich and Assoc. Director Scott Prill.  Former Directors Ernie Ellis and Pete Stokes are also alumni.

Tomorrow I move into my new home for the next 11 weeks where I will be challenged both physically and mentally.  I plan to provide updates at least weekly (if not more frequently) to provide
family, friends, coworkers, and the rest of the Carolina community a glimpse into the NA life.


  1. On my way there, just landed in DC. Can't wait to meet you and the rest of the class. What an opportunity for us to gain valuable tools to better serve our agencies and communities. See you soon.
    Ryan Gilbert, Chief
    Mishicot PD

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