FREDERICK, Md (WDVM) — For 11 weeks, Lieutenant Kirk Henneberry vacated his post as commander of the criminal investigations division at the Frederick Police Department, and instead reported to FBI headquarters in Quantico, Virginia.
“It exceeded my expectations being there,” Henneberry said.
He was among 258 officers from local, military, federal and even international law enforcement agencies that formed the 278th session of the National Academy.
“It was quite honestly the next logical step for him to assume greater responsibilities in the future potential as being deputy chief of police or even one day ascending to a be a chief of police whether here or in another jurisdiction,” explained Deputy Chief of Police Captain Patrick Grossman.
The program is an invitation-only after a nomination process. According to Henneberry, he applied four years ago, but it wasn’t until this latest class that Chief Ed Hargis put his name forward for nomination.
While on the FBI campus, officers take five courses in communication, leadership and physical fitness.
Henneberry described it as going back to college. Officers stayed on the Quantico campus in dormitories and received credit by the University of Virginia for their courses.
In class, officers sparked conversations on how to tackle common issues.
“Pick them apart, analyze them, debate them. Not to say that anybody was right or wrong but just see all sides of an issue so we can come to the best decision for our own agencies,” Henneberry described.
One of the most interesting classes, Henneberry says, took a look into forensic science and how to manage a major crime scene–like those of some of the most high-profile cases.
“Jonbenét Ramsey, OJ Simpson- how evidence was collected in those cases, how those cases were adjudicated or the outcome,” said Henneberry.
On December 20th, Henneberry graduated from the National Academy.
He points out that now that he is back in his usual role, he aims to put into action more thinking into why crimes scene appears the way they do.
“What looks like it’s there that shouldn’t be? What looks like it’s not there that we thought would have been there? We try to look at crime scenes in more of a behavior-based approach. Not to say that we don’t do that now, but maybe focus on that a little bit more,” Henneberry said.
Since 1945, 52,540 officers have graduated from the National Academy.