Lt. Matt Stewart, pictured, with the Joplin Police Department was one of 221 law enforcement officers who graduated on March 28, 2014, from the FBI National Academy Program at Quantico, Virginia. FBI Director James Comey was the principal speaker at the graduation ceremony.
Stewart earned 17 hours of college credit from the University of Virginia while attending the training. He accumulated 225 hours of classroom education time and also 30 hours of physical fitness training. He also was able to complete the Yellow Brick Road Challenge which includes a three mile obstacle course located at the Marine Corps Base and then followed by a three mile run. He also completed the swim challenge which consisted of swimming 34 miles, representing the distance from Quantico, VA to Washington DC via the Potomac River.
The 256th Session of the National Academy consisted of men and women from 47 states. Included in the class are members of the law enforcement agencies from the District of Columbia, 23 international countries, five military organizations, and two federal civilian-organizations. Internationally known for its academic excellence, the National Academy Program, held at the FBI Academy, offers 10 weeks of 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.
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 learn undergraduate and graduate credits from the University of Virginia due to the accreditation by the university of the many courses offered.