Washington Co. Deputy Completes FBI National Academy Training

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) — The Washington County Sheriff’s Office can now boast that it has three deputies with extensive FBI training.

Earlier this month, Capt. Josh McConnell became the most recent graduate of the prestigious FBI National Academy, which puts candidates through 10 weeks of physically and mentally challenging courses, according to Kelly Cantrell, sheriff’s office spokeswoman.

Candidates at the academy study advanced law, behavioral and forensic science, understanding terrorism, advanced leadership, and health and fitness training — all taught by internationally recognized experts, Cantrell said.

McConnell, a 20-year veteran of the sheriff’s office, joined more than 200 law enforcement officers from 49 states at the agency’s main campus in Quanitco, Va., for the academy’s 272nd session.

Cantrell said getting into the rigorous program is by invitation only, and the selected candidates come from the top one percent of law enforcement executives around the world.

“I’d like to thank the (sheriff’s office) and my family for supporting me and giving me the opportunity to attend this top-notch training academy,” McConnell said.

“I was honored to represent this great department and am looking forward to applying the knowledge I’ve gained.”

Sheriff Tim Helder said he’s committed to preparing his deputies to “lead in the future,” which means more opportunities to attend elite training seminars.

“In keeping with that philosophy, all of our command staff will either attend the FBI National Academy or Northwestern University’s School of Police Staff & Command,” Helder said.

The FBI says it has more than 50,000 graduates representing the National Academy, which started in 1935.

On average, the candidates invited have 21 years of law enforcement experience and usually return to their agencies to serve in executive-level positions, according to the agency.

“I anticipate (Josh) has been exposed to current trends in law enforcement that he will now have the opportunity to share with the rest of us,” Helder said, “thereby moving (the sheriff’s office) forward as leaders in the law enforcement community.”

McConnell joins Chief Deputy Jay Cantrell, Capt. Alan Johnson and retired Capt. Dallas McClellan as the other deputies who have graduated from the National Academy.