NSU Police Chief Graduates FBI National Academy

Joshua Skule, executive assistant director of the FBI’s Intelligence Branch (left), and NSU Chief of Police Troy J. Covington

Norfolk State University’s Chief of Police and Public Safety Troy J. Covington recently graduated from the FBI’s National Academy — a 10-week professional course of study designed for law enforcement leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He was part of a class that graduated the academy’s fifty thousandth student.

Located in Quantico, Virginia, where the Bureau also trains its new agents, the academy opened in 1935 and graduated its 268th session on June 7. Among the 228 graduates — which included students from 47 states, 24 countries, seven federal agencies, and every branch of the military — was a University of Alabama at Birmingham Police Department captain accepting the academy’s fifty thousandth diploma.

The 10-week program is grounded in fully accredited academics, with leading-edge practical coursework in a broad array of subjects: intelligence theory, terrorist mindsets, management science, law, behavioral science, forensic science, and the media, to name a few. The students earned more than 3,800 combined credit hours since arriving at Quantico in early April. Students are also tested physically with frequent and taxing workouts, a refreshing change for many of the mid-career officers who have ascended the ranks in their departments and are no longer on a beat. The most valued thing students take from the academy, however, is the round-the-clock time spent with more than 200 colleagues with varied backgrounds, languages, and personalities but a common goal. “Building partnerships and networks is what the National Academy does best,” said Joshua Skule, executive assistant director of the FBI’s Intelligence Branch, during the commencement address. Skule talked candidly about the Bureau’s priorities and the difficult work of combating terrorists and spies. The national academy, he said, is integral to building an international bulwark against common threats.

The inclusion of international students dates back to the academy’s beginnings but expanded in earnest in the early 1960s, when President John F. Kennedy signed National Security Action Memorandum No. 177 to enhance the training of overseas officers in the United States. To date, students from 171 countries have gone through the National Academy, and today, at least 10 percent of each class is made up of international students. Recent graduates hailed from every corner of the globe, including Finland, Japan, Liberia, New Zealand, Thailand, and Albania.

“The men and women graduating here today are the result of the continuous commitment to get better at what we do, working side by side while building friendships,” said David Resch, assistant director of the Bureau’s Training Division, which oversees the national academy.

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