Russell FBI CollageSMALLCaptain Kevin Russell of the Benton Police Department recently graduated from the FBI National Academy Program at Quantico, Virginia. Capt. Russell was among the 233 law enforcement officers who graduated on March 18th from the 263rd Session.

During the graduation ceremony, Capt. Russell received the Yellow Brick Road award. The Yellow Brick Road is a fitness challenge which includes a grueling 6.1-mile run through a hilly, wooded trail built by the Marines. Along the way, the 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. When (and if) the students complete this difficult test, they receive an actual yellow brick to memorialize their achievement.

The National Academy consisted of men and women from 47 states. Included in the class were members of law enforcement agencies from the District of Columbia, 27 international countries, four military organizations, and five federal civilian organizations.
Internationally known for its academic excellence, the National Academy Program, held at the FBI Academy, offers ten weeks of advanced communication, leadership, and fitness training for selected officers having proven records as professionals within their agencies. There is a very stringent selection process to attend the academy with the waiting list often being 3-5 years. On average, these officers have an average of 19 years of law enforcement experience and usually return to their agencies to serve in executive-level positions.

Training for the program is provided by the FBI Academy instructional staff, Special Agents, and other staff members holding advanced degrees, many of whom are recognized internationally in their fields of expertise. While in attendance, Capt. Russell studied in such areas as; Behavioral Science for Law Enforcement Leadership, Fitness in Law Enforcement, The Cyber Threat Landscape for Law Enforcement Executives, Legal Issues Impacting Law Enforcement Operations, Executive Leadership, and Managing Organizational Change and Development.

Since 1972, National Academy students have been able to earn undergraduate and graduate credits on many of the courses offered. Three of the courses Capt. Russell completed were masters level courses accredited through the University of Virginia that can be applied towards a future graduate degree.
The graduating officers were represented by the class spokesperson, Captain Larry Dyess, who is with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana. FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was the principal speaker at the ceremony.

There are currently five active members of the Benton Police Department who are FBI National Academy graduates serving the community. It is considered an important part of the executive level training within the department that better enables supervisors to professionally guide the department into the future.
Here is also a link to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund article about the 263rd session: