Copperas Cove resident graduates the FBI National Academy
By LYNETTE SOWELL
Charlie Rodriguez of Copperas Cove has joined the ranks of law enforcement officers who have graduated from the National FBI Academy.
Rodriguez, whose career in law enforcement spans more than two decades, presently serves as chief of police at Texas A&M University – Central Texas.
The university recently announced that Rodriguez, graduated from the 274th Session of the FBI’s National Academy in Quantico, Va. on Dec. 11.
Chief Rodriguez was one of 250 men and women from 48 states and 24 countries to complete the 11-week academy, earning him a spot among the top one percent of law enforcement executives in the country.
“I am thankful for the opportunity to have attended the most prestigious command level law enforcement training in the world. It was a highly rewarding experience that I will never forget. I will continue to cultivate the partnerships that have grown during this 11-week period at the FBI campus in Quantico, Virginia,” said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez said not only did he learn from the academy’s instructors, but fellow law enforcement officers from across the country and around the world.
“There were officers from South Korea, The Phillipines, and Thailand. One of the things I learned wasn’t how different we are, but how we as law enforcement experience many of the same things, no matter what country we are from,” Rodriguez said.
Officers must qualify to attend the academy, which Rodriguez was able to do on his first attempt. He said attending the National Academy was something he had wanted to accomplish for some time, as part of his aspirations to moving into the position of a police chief.
The FBI National Academy began in July 1935 and since its inception, a total of 51,519 graduates make up the alumni of the FBI National Academy.
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.
Since 1972, National Academy students have been able to earn undergraduate and graduate credits from the University of Virginia as part of the academy curriculum. In addition, officers endured demanding fitness challenges including the rigorous 6.1-mile “Yellow Brick Road” run and obstacle course.
In addition, students formed partnerships and friendships with other academy classmates who hail from other states and countries.
In the past, these relationships have proven invaluable, as colleagues have relied on each other to help solve homicides, kidnappings, and bank robberies across state lines and internationally.