A Look Inside the FBI National Academy

Chief Ken Truver (Session #225) is the Chief of Castle Shannon Borough Police Department and the Immediate Past President of the FBI National Academy Associates. I had the opportunity to sit down with him and learn about the FBI National Academy, which is a 10-week leadership program for the top 1% of law enforcement put on by the FBI in Quantico.



 

How do you get into the National Academy


Acceptance to the National Academy is highly competitive. There are four sessions per year, and each session has between 250-300 students who take college-level courses throughout the academy. Although some sergeants are admitted, it is preferred that candidates be a lieutenant or higher in rank. Candidates need to have at least 60 college credit hours and must commit to remaining in law enforcement for three years after graduation. The National Academy tries to maintain an equity of slots to agencies across the country - and internationally - based in part on agency size, and candidates must be nominated by their agency’s head. Once nominated, the candidate goes through a vetting process before being selected.



How can students prepare for the National Academy?


Because it’s so competitive, and the fact that it may take time for a candidate to be accepted to the National Academy, it’s important to prepare for success as much as possible in advance. Chief Truver noted that he was first nominated in 2000, but wasn’t able to attend until 2006 because of how few slots are available to local agencies. With that in mind, aside from progressing through the ranks in their department, candidates should pursue college credits and/or a college degree if they don’t have one, and continue to further their education through training and leadership courses. Maintaining good physical fitness is important also - more on that below.



What does the typical National Academy experience look like?


Students live in dorms on the Quantico campus for the full 10 weeks of the Academy and they share “suites” with 3 other attendees. Throughout the Session, they attend classes and work on college-level projects and research papers designed to increase their leadership skills. The living arrangements and collaborative coursework results in close connections being formed amongst the students, which is an important networking piece that results in developing connections with members of the law enforcement community across the country and internationally. In addition to the academic rigor, there is physical training throughout the 10 weeks, which culminates in the Yellow Brick Road - a Marine Corps obstacle course with a 5K run that, when completed, rewards the finishers with the coveted Yellow Brick commemorating their achievement. If you visit any graduate, you are bound to see the brick (with their session number stenciled on it) prominently displayed.



What happens after graduation?


Once you graduate from the National Academy, you don’t just take your Yellow Brick and go home; the continued learning and networking has just begun. The FBI National Academy serves as a force multiplier for the dissemination of leadership training and best practices throughout law enforcement. Graduates are expected to take what they’ve learned and pass it on to their department. Additionally, the FBI National Academy Associates - which is the graduates' alumni association - continues to bond graduates together through chapter events and training sessions throughout the year. The training events are put on by National Academy graduates in conjunction with their local chapter, and are made available to all law enforcement - not just NA graduates - to further spread the knowledge.


Another benefit to membership in the FBI-NAA is the network. Not only will graduates be forever connected to the 250+ folks they attended the academy with, but also the 16,000+ members of the association who are senior law enforcement professionals dedicated to providing our communities, states, countries, and the profession with the highest degree of law enforcement expertise, training, education and information.



Truleo and the FBI National Academy Associates


Truleo is a proud partner of the FBI National Academy Associates. As part of this partnership, FBINAA alumni advised Truleo on the deconstruction of professionalism and risk into eight core components: formality, politeness, explanation, gratitude, profanity, directed profanity, threats and insults. Truleo uses these core components to create a set of risk and professionalism metrics that encapsulate the FBINAA’s high standards and set the precedent for professionalism across law enforcement.


Truleo charges a per camera, per month fee for each of its police department customers, but will waive all fees for any FBI National Academy graduate as well as apply a 10% discount to the entire department from which that graduate is actively employed.


 

Interview Guests:


Chief Ken Truver - Advisor

PRESIDENT

FBI NATIONAL ACADEMY ASSOCIATES


Chris Sansone - Host

DIRECTOR OF STRATEGIC PARTNERS

CHRIS@TRULEO.CO


 


About Truleo

Truleo analyzes police body camera videos using artificial intelligence to help promote police professionalism. Truleo worked with FBI National Academy alumni to build the models that deconstruct officers’ language into professionalism and risk metrics to help agencies promote best practices, train new officers, and mitigate risk. To learn more about Truleo’s mission to improve trust in the police with body camera analytics, visit www.truleo.co.




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