MONTPELIER — Montpelier Police Chief Tony Facos has been appointed president of the New England chapter of the FBI National Academy Associates.

Facos was sworn in at a ceremony in Burlington, Massachusetts, on Tuesday by Harold Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Field Division. Prior to the swearing-in of the FBI-NAA executive board, Shaw delivered a speech to more than 100 law enforcement leaders from around New England and graduates of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Shaw will retire from the FBI in January 2019.

“It is an honor to have a leadership role in this organization and I will carry-out my duties to the best of my abilities,” Facos said Friday. “The relationships with our local, state, federal and international law enforcement partners are vital to our policing mission.”

Facos attended the FBI National Academy in the summer of 2004. “

“I was a sergeant at the time and I was nominated by (former) Montpelier Police Department Chief Douglas Hoyt, now retired, and processed and accepted through the FBI Albany Office.

“As a graduate, I have stayed involved with the FBI National Academy Associates, an international law enforcement network of fellow graduates,” Facos said. “One of the key responsibilities I have as the current president of the New England Chapter is to assemble a team of Vermont FBI-NA graduates and host a training conference for New England.”

“The training conference will be held in Burlington in June 2019. This responsibility rotates each year by state – Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Maine; Connecticut has its own chapter. Other duties include the FBI Youth Leadership Program, membership support, supporting the individual FBI-NAA state trainings and meetings, and next month I will be attending a leadership summit at the FBI Academy,” Facos added.

The academy began July 29, 1935. It was created in response to a 1930 study by the Wickersham Commission that recommended standards of professionalization for law enforcement departments across the U.S. through centralized training. With support from the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the authority of Congress and the Department of Justice, the FBI Police Training School was born.

Courses at that time included scientific aids in crime detection, preparation of reports, criminal investigation techniques, and administration and organization. With the advent of World War II, courses were added in espionage and sabotage.

The academy is a professional course of study for U.S. and international law enforcement managers nominated by agency heads because of demonstrated leadership qualities.

The 10-week program provides coursework in intelligence theory, terrorism and terrorist mindsets, management science, law, behavioral science, law enforcement communication and forensic science. The academy serves to improve the administration of justice in police departments and agencies at home and abroad and to raise law enforcement standards, knowledge and cooperation worldwide.

Leaders and managers of state, local, county, tribal, military, federal and international law enforcement agencies attend the academy. Participation is by invitation only, through a nomination process. Participants are drawn from every U.S. state and territory and from international partner nations.

Training sessions of approximately 220 officers take undergraduate or graduate courses at the FBI campus. Classes are offered in law, behavioral science, forensic science, understanding terrorism and terrorist mindsets, leadership, communication, and health and fitness. Officers participate in a wide range of leadership and specialized training, where they share ideas, techniques and experiences with each other, creating lifelong partnerships that transcend state and national borders.

There is also a final test of the fitness known as the Yellow Brick Road, a grueling 6.1-mile run through a hilly, wooded trail built by the Marines and marked by yellow brinks, hence the name. Participants must climb over walls, run through creeks, jump through simulated windows, scale rock faces with ropes, crawl under barbed wire in muddy water, maneuver across a cargo net, and more. If the students complete the test, they receive an actual yellow brick to memorialize their achievement.

Each session usually includes between 27 and 30 international students, about 10 percent of each class. Thousands of international leaders from over 160 countries have graduated from the National Academy. As global crime and terror continue to mount — requiring ever deepening levels of international cooperation and expertise — the FBI continues to put a priority on offering and coordinating international training opportunities for its partners around the world.

Following graduation, each officer has the opportunity to join the FBI National Academy Associates Inc., an organization of more than 16,000 law enforcement professionals who actively work to continue developing higher levels of competency and cooperation across the law enforcement community.

stephen.mills

@timesargus.com

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