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Sergeant Melvin Padilla recently graduated from the 250th session of the FBI National Academy, acquiring a new set of skills and leadership abilities he'll use on the job at the Bedford Police Department.
Internationally known for its academic excellence, the National Academy Program, held at the FBI Training Complex in Quantico, Virginia, offers 10 weeks of advanced investigative, management, and fitness training for selected officers having proven records as professionals within their agencies.
Sergeant Padilla described his time in the program as an “invaluable experience and an incredibly unique opportunity that I will never forget. It was an honor to be chosen to represent the Bedford Police Department among such an esteemed group.”
The FBI National Academy is dedicated to the improvement of law enforcement standards and has long been a benchmark for professional continuing education. Participants are drawn from every state in the union, from U.S. territories, and from over 150 partner nations. Police officers who attend the Academy return to their communities better prepared to meet today’s law enforcement challenges.
Padilla's training included instruction in law, behavioral science, forensic science, understanding terrorism/terrorist mindsets, leadership development, communication, and health & fitness.
The overall goal of the Academy is to support, promote and enhance the personal and professional development of law enforcement leaders by preparing them for complex, dynamic and contemporary challenges through innovative techniques, facilitating excellence in education and research and forging partnerships throughout the world.
The 250th session, which began on July 15th, consisted of nearly 270 students, including 24 from partner nations. Costs for tuition, room, board and travel are borne by the FBI.
Chief Hayes, a 2006 graduate of the 226th FBI Academy session, said, “It’s great to have Mel back, and I’m looking forward to him putting the lessons learned in the program into practice here at home.”
Padilla received an associate's degree from the University of Phoenix and is working toward a degree in criminal justice from SUNY Empire State College. The Academy experience provide ten credits—which will leave him just shy of the bachelor's degree he expects to obtain in January 2013.
After graduating high school in his hometown of Poughkeepsie, he entered the U.S. Navy for six years, including a stint in Japan. Padilla attended the New York Police Department Academy and spent two years with NYPD working in the Bronx. Since joining the Bedford police department in 2002, he's been a patrol officer and patrol sergeant and now serves as the traffic safety coordinator and as an instructor in taser, defensive tactics, and firearms.