NASHVILLE – The inaugural class of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Criminal Justice Academy graduated today, in a ceremony held at the TBI headquarters. More than 100 college students from across the state applied for the Academy, and 21 students representing 20 different colleges in Tennessee attended the week-long training.

The Criminal Justice Academy was developed for college juniors and seniors who are interested in a career in criminal justice or forensic science. The course was held at the Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Enforcement Academy in Bell Buckle. Students spent part of the time in classes learning about ethics, investigative skills and interrogation. TBI Special Agents also instructed them on how to use crime scene equipment and tactics used in investigating crime scenes. Students used those skills to work their own mock crime scenes during the week, and on Friday morning, they presented the results of their investigations.

During today’s graduation ceremony, TBI Director Mark Gwyn praised the students for the hard work they put into their week-long study, and says he started this Academy as a way to look for future leaders. “I want to have a strong Bureau with strong people, and to develop a tenure for the future,” Gwyn said. “We want to send these students out the door with a clear idea of the path they need to take to get into this profession. It takes truth, bravery and integrity, and this Academy teaches far more than anything students can learn at a career fair.”

There was no cost to the students for their training, food or lodging. College students in Tennessee interested in applying for future courses at the Criminal Justice Academy can find the eligibility requirements and application form on the TBI website at

(Media note: B-roll from today’s presentation, and sound from TBI Assistant Director over Training Richard Moore are available via this link to the TBI’s You Tube channel: )