Following the "Yellow Brick Road" at the FBI National Academy has nothing to do with skipping along with a lion, tin man and scarecrow. It doesn’t even involve a dog and a girl with pigtails.
This Yellow Brick Road is the final test of the fitness challenge at the FBINA, in Quantico, VA. And, instead of a wicked witch, Morris Plains Police Chief Scott Thompson completion of the challenge has resulted in him receiving a yellow brick of his very own.
And, yes, it is a real yellow brick, inscribed with the date of the academy.
The FBINA is a professional course of study for international law enforcement leaders, according to the FBI website. Eligible for the class are leaders and managers of state and local police forces, sheriff's officers, military police and federal law enforcement agencies. The course includes law, behavioral science, forensic science, understanding terrorism/terrorist mindset, leadership development, communication and health/fitness.
Besides the classroom work, the leaders are given an opportunity to interact and share ideas, techniques and experiences.
The Yellow Brick Road consists of a 6.1-mile run over a hilly, wooded trail. Participants climb walls, run through creaks, jump through simulated windows, scale rock faces with ropes, crawl under barbed wire in muddy water and maneuver across a cargo net.
The FBINA was started in 1935 and runs four classes a year. Thompson is expected to be back at work next week following the 10 classroom-hour weeklong course.