Realizing a longtime dream and returning with a trove of professional knowledge, Nitro Police Department Capt. Brian Oxley graduated from the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, in March.
Oxley, 47, was one of 255 law enforcement professionals from around the world who were selected for the elite FBI training. The 279th session of the National Academy consisted of men and women from the United States and members of law enforcement agencies from 32 countries.
For 10 weeks, the officers in Oxley’s cohort completed undergraduate or graduate college courses in the following areas: law, behavioral science, forensic science, counterterrorism, leadership development, communication, drug enforcement, community policing and health/fitness.
“You go to Quantico and live there for 10 weeks,” Oxley explained last week. “Everybody gets to choose what path they want to follow. Everybody has a leadership class — that’s a big aspect of it, and everybody does health and fitness as well.
“For me, I chose classes that would accelerate my job here in Nitro, that would help the Nitro Police Department as well as the citizens of Nitro,” Oxley said. “The other classes I took were in community policing, drugs and terrorism.”
The Nitro resident grew up in Alum Creek and graduated from George Washington High School in Charleston. He began his law enforcement career as a campus police officer at West Virginia State University before joining the NPD.
“I came to the Nitro Police Department in 1998. I’ve served in about every role and capacity and rose through the ranks here.
“Going to the FBI National Academy is something I’ve wanted to do for about 10 years of my career, ever since I learned about it and what it was.”
Oxley applied for the academy and underwent a background process and medical screening.
“The state of West Virginia only gets so many slots per academy class. I think it’s two slots. For as many policemen as there are, there’s a fairly decent wait list to be accepted. Once I was notified I was accepted, I was superexcited,” Oxley said.
“The training is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Only the top 1% of law enforcement gets accepted, they say.”
The know-how Oxley has brought back with him has paid off with ongoing global dividends, he said.
“It’s not just law enforcement officers in the United States,” he said. “It’s being able to go in and see how they do things. Ever since we’ve graduated, everybody in my class has maintained contact and communications.
“With all of the coronavirus stuff, I’ve been able to see what Kansas, Michigan, South Carolina, Maine and Alaska, as well as Monaco Colombia, are doing. It’s the ability to put a question out and get an answer from somebody in Los Angeles, California, or Germany. It’s just been phenomenal, the collaboration.”
The FBI National Academy is a professional course of study for U.S. and international law enforcement leaders that serves to improve the administration of justice in international police departments and agencies, to raise law enforcement standards, knowledge and cooperation worldwide.
The academy’s stated mission is “to support, promote and enhance the personal and professional development of law enforcement leaders by preparing them for the complex, dynamic and contemporary challenges through innovative techniques, facilitating excellence in education and research and forging partnerships throughout the world.”