Deputy first to graduate from FBI Academy

Published 5:00 am Thursday, July 17, 2003

Captain Dustin Bairfield is the first Lincoln County deputy to graduate from the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy in Quantico, Va.

“Graduating from the FBI National Academy is the highest honor a peace officer can earn,” Bairfield said. “Each class has several students from around the world. This class had twenty-something international students.”

The National Academy is known worldwide for its training and statistics show that less than 2 percent of all law enforcement officers are able to attend. Approximately 80,000 applicants apply each year and less than 1,000 are accepted.

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It took three years for Bairfield to be accepted.

He graduated recently with a class of 234 law enforcement officers from 49 states, the District of Columbia, 20 international countries, three military organizations, and four federal civilian organizations.

The FBI National Academy Program offers 10 weeks of advanced investigative, management, and fitness training for selected officers having proven records as professionals within their agencies, according to an FBI press release. On average, the 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 FBI Academy instructors,special agents and other staff members holding advanced degrees,many of whom are recognized internationally in their fields of expertise.

Since the academy was organized in July 1935, a total of only36,519 officers have graduated. Slightly more than 21,775 graduates are still active in law enforcement.

“Any time a young officer can reap the benefits of attending theFBI National Academy it’s an honor, not only for the deputy but also for the department as well,” said Sheriff Lynn Boyte. “They’re very selective. One blemish on your past record and you won’t be selected.”

Boyte should know. He graduated from the academy in 1983 while serving with the Mississippi Highway Patrol.

“We’re trying now to get our other officers to apply,” he said. That’s the best of the best. Personally, I know it really helped me in my career.”

National Academy students have been able to earn undergraduate and graduate credits from the University of Virginia since the academy was accredited in 1972.

Bairfield earned 17 hours of college credit in the fields of applied behavioral science for law enforcement operations, overview of forensic science for police administrators and managers, latent finger prints from the crime scene to the court room, computer crimes for police supervisors, interviewing strategies through statement analysis, legal issues for command-level officers and fitness in law enforcement.

“This training will be a great asset to the citizens of LincolnCounty to help reduce and solve crime,” Bairfield said.