At age 54, he'll be one of the older recruits, but Teton County, Wyoming Sheriff Jim Whalen has been selected to attend the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. The ten week training session begins April 6 and graduation will be held June 14.
The academy covers three components; academic, physical, and professional networking. Each session ends with a 6.1 mile run through wooded trails, walls, ropes and cargo nets. Whalen noted, "I know I'll be one of the old guys, but I think living in Jackson has prepared me well because being physically fit is so much a part of Jackson's culture."
Whalen does not think his two and a half months away from the job will be detrimental. "I have the utmost confidence in all of the staff at the sheriff's office; people might not even notice that I'm gone." Whalen added, "Besides, there are phone and email capabilities in Quantico, so I will be available through the wonders of technology."
Teton County Undersheriff Bob Gilliam and Lieutenant Slade Ross are previous graduates of the FBI Academy.
The FBI National Academy began in 1935 under Director, J. Edgar Hoover. It was created in response to a 1930 study by the Wickersham Commission that recommended the standardization and professionalization of the law enforcement departments across the U.S. through centralized training. !n 1962, at the specific request of President John F. Kennedy, officers from foreign countries began attending the National Academy.
There are four sessions per year with each session offering training to approximately 250 students. The average age of candidates is 41.