by Dan Holland
When Lieutenant Don Polick graduated from the 283rd session of a 10-week program held at the FBI National Academy located at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, on Sept. 13, he became the first officer from the Broadview Heights Police Department to do so.
The facility is the same one in which new FBI special agents and intelligence analysts receive their training.
The program, which is accredited through the University of Virginia, included 235 law enforcement officers from 49 U.S. states and 21 foreign countries. The six featured courses focused on various aspects of law enforcement, according to Polick.
“I took classes mainly on law enforcement topics, including leadership, leading at-risk employees, writing, media relations and other related topics,” he said.
Five classes were academic with an additional fitness class geared toward law enforcement.
“They had weekly fitness challenges that could be anything from a one-mile run to up to a 5K run,” said Polick. “At the end of the course, they had us run the ‘Yellow Brick Road,’ which is one of the obstacle courses developed by the U.S. Marine Corps.”
Networking with officers from other law enforcement agencies was an important benefit of the training, he added.
“We got to meet many people from a number of different agencies and also from the federal agencies as well,” said Polick. “There were some people in our class from the DEA. We had FBI field agents who were our counselors who attended all the different aspects with us like the physical challenges. It gave us the opportunity to make a lot of connections.”
The program was much longer and more intense when compared with other law enforcement training programs Polick had previously attended.
“It was great just to have the opportunity,” said Polick. “Most of the schools we go to last for a week or a few weeks; this was more intense and longer and a better course to go through. Not a lot of people get to go to it because of the commitment and selection process. It was a lot of work but also a lot of fun.”
The program included a number of guest speakers and tours of the FBI facilities, he added.
Polick, who has been with the department since 1994, said the training provided him with a different view on a variety of areas within the law enforcement realm.
“It certainly helped me just with the basic education of the leadership courses – the at-risk employees’ course, the writing course, media relations – all those things help on the day-to-day job when those needs arise,” he said. “The fitness portion was also very good and the networking with other agencies. Overall, it was just a great experience.”
“Over the 10-week period, Polick received training in intelligence theory, management science, law, behavioral science, and law enforcement communication,” said Broadview Heights Police Chief Steven Raiff. “The training enhanced his knowledge, skills and abilities, making him a higher-quality, more capable leader. The training also afforded Polick the chance to network and build relationships with law enforcement executives from across the nation and internationally.”
“As best practices in public safety will surely continue to change, having well-rounded, better-connected and higher-educated leaders will help ensure that the Broadview Heights Police Department continues to move in the right direction.” he added. “This training opportunity was a win-win for both the police department and the residents of Broadview Heights.” ∞