Lieutenant graduates from FBI National Academy

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Behr Tharsing recently graduated from the prestigious Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

The 10-week advanced management and leadership school is conducted by the FBI at their Quantico Academy, which is located at the United States Marine Corps Base, Quantico. The course is open to high-ranking members of federal, state, local, and international law enforcement organizations. Participants must be nominated by their department head and undergo an extensive background check by the FBI, and meet other stringent selection criteria for selection, according to a press release from Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey.

Typically, each FBINA session will contain about 220 law enforcement leaders. Students attend mandatory and elective classes that are taught at the undergraduate and graduate school levels. Classes are offered in behavioral sciences, forensic science, terrorism/terrorist mindsets, leadership communication, contemporary issues, public relations, death investigation, and all students must participate in an arduous physical fitness and health regimen nearly every day of the week.

A final physical endurance course termed the “Yellow Brick Road” is administered and includes a grueling 6.1-mile run through a hilly, wooded trail built by the Marines.

Participants must climb over walls, run through creeks, jump through simulated windows, scale rock faces with ropes, crawl under barbed wire in muddy water and complete the rest of the course in a minimum time period.

The fitness challenge started in 1981 and is a “rite of passage” for all FBINA graduates. Successful students receive a yellow brick with their class number painted on it.

The FBINA also teaches foreign students from international law enforcement organizations. Normally, up to 27 to 30 foreign students attend the FBINA.

The FBINA was started in 1935 by J. Edgar Hoover as the “Police Training School.” China, Canada, and Great Britain were among the first countries to send representatives in the late 1930s. Thousands of international leaders from over 160 countries have graduated from the FBINA.

Following graduation, all graduates have the opportunity to join the FBI National Academy Associates, a organization of more than 16,000 law enforcement professionals who actively work to continue developing higher levels of competency, cooperation, integrity, and networking across the national and international law enforcement community. For more than 84 years, the FBINA has helped professionalize and standardize law enforcement in the United States and in many foreign countries.

“We are proud of Lieutenant Tharsing’s successful graduation from the FBI National Academy,” said Lopey. “In my opinion, it is the finest advanced law enforcement leadership school in the nation. Due to the limited number of slots available, the stringent selection standards, and the time commitment, it is rare that a local law enforcement leader has the opportunity to attend the arduous and challenging 10-week course of instruction.

Tharsing said he is thankful for the opportunity, learned a lot, and made new friends.

“The networking experience has already helped me and the department,” Tharsing said. “I will be a better leader as a result of my experience and look forward to applying what I learned there as a leader with the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office.”

The FBI pays the expenses associated with attendance at the FBINA and also provides free room and board while students attend the course. Tharsing’s wife Val and his two sons, Zane and London were on-hand to personally see him graduate from the FBINA. He received his diploma from the FBI Director Christopher Ray.