NASHVILLE – Thirteen local law enforcement officers from across the state and two criminal justice students are new graduates of the TBI State Academy. The Academy was created as a professional and specialized training ground for Tennessee law enforcement officers who want to expand their education and training in the criminal justice field. Through the six-week course, attendees learned advanced investigative techniques, science, and strategy; skills they can take back with them and put into practice at their home agencies.

The TBI State Academy was modeled after the FBI’s National Academy, and includes coursework in the areas of leadership, constitutional law, communications intelligence, and crime scene and undercover investigations. Candidates were nominated by their department heads and selected to attend, and were required to have five years of experience as a full-time commissioned officer of a Tennessee law enforcement agency.

The TBI State Academy also partners with Tennessee State University and Middle Tennessee State University, and a student enrolled in the criminal justice program at each school also attended the course. Additionally, MTSU provides cameras, and TSU provides tablet computers, to each student, and these officers can take them back to use at their respective agencies.

Each year, one student is honored with the prestigious Director’s Award. The officer selected for that award is the individual with the highest cumulative scores in academic tests, physical fitness, shooting competition, leadership presentation, and case presentation.  This year’s winner of the Director’s Award, announced during today’s graduation, is Investigator Sergeant Bryan DeRose, with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.

The Academy runs four days a week for six weeks and is held at Fire Service and Codes Enforcement Academy in Bell Buckle. This is the eighth class to graduate from the TBI State Academy.

Pictured, back row, L to R: TBI Deputy Director Brad Nealon, Crossville Police Department Detective Kevin Wood, Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office Investigator David Bowman, Algood Police Department Administrative Lieutenant Roy Phipps, Warren County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Aaron Roberts, McMinn County Sheriff’s Office Detective Jared Price, Bedford County Sheriff’s Office Major Nikia Elliott, Shelbyville Police Department Detective Cody Swift, Smithville Police Department Detective James Cornelius, TBI Director David Rausch. Front row, L to R: Wayne County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Patrick Malugen, Johnson City Police Department Investigator Gary Wills, TSU student Eric Bihembo, MTSU student Madison Scoggins, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Sergeant Bryan DeRose, Bradley County Sheriff’s Office Detective Sergeant Zechary Pike, Madison County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Joshua Wooley.