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By Pat Pratt
Interim Maryville Police Chief and Troy City Council Member Tony Manley recently graduated as a member of the 286th session of the FBI National Academy, making him the first officer in the department’s history to complete the program.
Graduation took place June 8 at the National Academy in Quantico. In total, there were 238 graduates in the session. Nationally, only one-percent of law enforcement officers are given the chance to attend the training, an opportunity Manley said he was grateful for.
“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to attend the FBI National Academy,” Manley said. “I am thankful that Mayor Short and the Village Board allowed me to attend. I am the first officer from the Village of Maryville to attend the FBI academy so that added to the already intense academic and physical training pressure placed on all the students in our session.”
The 10-week-long training is also very rigorous, Manley said. It was difficult being away from home and family for 10 weeks, living in a small dorm and sharing living quarters with others.
“The academy was difficult both academically and physically,” Manley said. “The academics were difficult because there were many research papers, group projects and class presentations required of the instructors. Physical training was required 3 days a week including a weekly challenge. The physical training instructors are the best in the world at what they do and they push you to your limits.
Manley said he was honored to work with the academy instructions, all of whom are experts in their chosen fields. The academy also offered an opportunity for networking with law-enforcement officers from across the nation, all of whom have a proven track record in law enforcement.
“I learned something new everyday while I was there,” Manley said. “I learned that the current events happening here in our area are also happening everywhere. It makes no difference if you are from a smaller department like Maryville or a large department like Houston TX. or Chicago. Networking with the best law enforcement officers around the world allowed me to learn how others are addressing many of the same issues.”
Manley has been with the Maryville Police Department since 2005 and has held numerous roles while serving in the department. He also served in the US Army as a Military Police Officer. He said he plans to use the skills he acquired through the academy training to continue to keep the community safe. He credited his mentor Rob Carpenter, who recently retired from the department, for supporting his decision to attend the academy.
“Rob was and still is my mentor in my law enforcement career,” Manley said. “Rob supported my decision to attend the FBI Academy many years ago. I plan to use the training I received to help develop other leaders within the Maryville Police Department and continue to keep Maryville a safe community to live and visit.”