CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., April 16, 2012 – Lt. Kenny Mayberry of the University Police at Southeast Missouri State University recently graduated from the FBI National Academy Program at Quantico, Va.
“It really exceeded my expectations,” said Mayberry, who has returned to campus following the 10-week experience.
The 248th Session of the National Academy which ran Jan. 9-March 16 consisted of men and women from 48 states. Included in the class of 257 law enforcement officers were members of law enforcement agencies from the District of Columbia, 28 international countries, three military organizations and five federal civilian organizations.
Internationally known for its academic excellence, the National Academy Program, held at the FBI Academy, offers advanced investigative, management and fitness training for selected officers having proven records as professionals within their agencies. On average, these officers have 19 years of law enforcement experience and usually return to their agencies to serve in executive-level positions.
Mayberry, who has been with the University Police for 22 years, is the organization’s first lieutenant and is a former deputy sheriff, said he applied to the Academy as a means of professional development. Local FBI Agent Brian Ritter nominated him for the program.
“I see myself one day managing a department,” Mayberry said.
As part of the experience, Mayberry completed 17 semester hours of criminal justice coursework, 12 or which were at the graduate level, earning him a graduate certificate of achievement issued by the University of Virginia School of Continuing and Professional Studies. Mayberry completed courses in “Evidentiary Photography,” “Managing Organizational Change and Development,” “Seminar in Media Relations for the Law Enforcement Executive,” “Promoting the Law Enforcement Image,” “Officer Involved Shootings: Communication Strategies” and “Fitness in Law Enforcement.”
Training for the program was provided by FBI Academy instructional staff, Special Agents and other staff members holding advanced degrees, many of whom are recognized internationally in their fields of expertise. Since 1972, National Academy students have been able to earn undergraduate and graduate credits from the University of Virginia due to the accreditation by the University of the many courses offered.
Throughout the experience, Mayberry was housed on a military base at Quantico and shared a residence hall room with a Superintendent from Cook County (Chicago) in Illinois.
Mayberry said the FBI National Academy was an intense experience and, in addition to the coursework, included tabletop exercises and a fit challenge program of 1.8, 2.6, 3.1, 5.2 and 6.1 timed runs. Participants also had to navigate a U.S. Marine Corps officers’ course dubbed “ The Yellow Brick Road” in which they were required to traverse 20 obstacles, including barbed wire, mud, water and a cargo net.
“It (the Academy) was the most stressful, intellectual, physical and rewarding professional experience of my life,” he said, adding he was able to complete the fit challenge thanks to two years of physical preparation, during which he ran during his lunch hours and dropped more than 40 pounds.
Looking back on the Academy experience, Mayberry says he is grateful for the networking opportunity it afforded him with others in law enforcement.
“Knowing there are so many other people out there who have worked through various scenarios” that may arise in law enforcement is helpful, he said, adding his Academy class already has established an online networking page to maintain connections. “The learning process is not only in the classes but from everyone there who has been through real-world issues. It’s a lifelong kinship.”
Mayberry said only one percent of law enforcement officers are selected to participate in the Academy, and he was one of only five officers at the Academy representing university police departments. He said he was proud to represent Southeast’s University police department.
“All of us (attending the Academy) came to realize the people at our departments are our most valuable assets. The wealth of knowledge that is there that most people don’t realize is significant,” he said, adding Southeast’s University Police Department has former detectives, highway patrolmen and other highly experienced officers.
“We have the best of the best,” he said.
FBI Director Robert Mueller was the principal speaker at the Academy graduation and presented Mayberry with his diploma. Mayberry is now one of 45,553 graduates who represent the FBI National Academy since it began in 1935. Of this number, about 28,041are still active in law enforcement work.