Smith graduates from FBI National Academy

by Kate Shunney

West Virginia State Police Berkeley Springs barracks commander Sgt. Sam Smith was among 198 graduates of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, which held a graduation ceremony last Thursday, December 7.

Sgt. Sam Smith of the West Virginia State Police, pictured outside the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.
submitted photo

The 288th session of the National Academy consisted of men and women from 45 states and the District of Columbia. FBI National Academy officials said the class included members of law enforcement agencies from 24 countries, four military organizations, and six federal civilian organizations.

“Internationally known for its academic excellence, the National Academy offers 11 weeks of advanced communication, leadership, and fitness training,” said Academy officials. “Participants must have proven records as professionals within their agencies to attend. On average, these officers have 21 years of law enforcement experience and usually return to their agencies to serve in executive-level positions.”

FBI Director Christopher Asher Wray delivered remarks at the December 7 ceremony.

Class spokesperson Woodrow Hawkins, from the Sisseton-Wahpeton Tribal Police, Agency Village, South Dakota, represented the graduating officers.

Smith was nominated for the FBI Academy by his superiors at the West Virginia State Police. He has 21 years of service in law enforcement, and is in his 17th year with the West Virginia State Police.

“The department nominates you to prepare you for executive positions within the department,” he said. “I’m not sure what the future holds at this moment. I can say I’m very honored to serve as Detachment Commander right here in Morgan County.”

FBI Academy instructors, special agents, and other staff with advanced degrees provide the training; many instructors are recognized internationally in their fields.

Since 1972, National Academy students have been able to earn undergraduate and graduate credits from the University of Virginia, which accredits all the National Academy courses offered.

A total of 54,763 graduates have completed the FBI National Academy since it began in 1935. The National Academy is held at the FBI Training Academy in Quantico, the same facility where the FBI trains its new special agents and intelligence analysts.