>The Madras Police Captain begins a 10-week training session in Quantico, Va.
After six years on a waiting list, Madras Police Department Capt. Tom Adams finally got the invitation he had hoped for.
Adams left Portland International Airport Saturday for a 10-week course at the prestigious FBI National Academy on the University of Virginia campus in Quantico, Va.
There, he is beginning a grueling training session that includes daily six-mile runs beyond classroom studies in law enforcement administration, which is the focus of the academy.
"It's a real honor and privilege to go," Adams said Thursday before embarking on his trip. "I'm up to it and excited about going but I'm sure I'll be glad to return."
Adams, 41, was nominated for the academy in 1996 through a highly competitive process. It included interviews of his co-workers to determine his leadership traits, a background check, a determination of physical fitness and support of former National Academy graduates.
As captain, Adams oversees administrative functions of the Madras Police Department, including personnel issues and scheduling.
It is hoped that the knowledge and experience he gains in Virginia will help him transition into the position of Madras Chief of Police. The working plan is for him to succeed current Chief Enes Smith this summer.
"This is the premier law enforcement academy in the world," Smith said. "Tom has worked very hard to get to this point."
During the 10-week session, law enforcement agents spend most of their time in the classroom taking courses in criminal law, police management, behavioral science, forensic science and law enforcement communications.
If all goes as planned, Adams will graduate from the academy on March 22 and add 15 credits to the degree he has been slowly working toward for many years. He has accumulated more than 100 credits from two community colleges and a four-year university.
Adams has served as a lieutenant, sergeant and captain under 10 different police chiefs and through many restructurings since he joined the Madras police 12 years ago. He was also a Jefferson County Sheriff's Deputy for one year.
Each year, the FBI sponsors four sessions of the National Academy. Each session includes about 270 law enforcement officers from around the country as well as the globe. The FBI picks up the tab for domestic officers' tuition, books, equipment, travel and lodging in a University of Virginia dorm.
From Oregon, Adams is joined by a Keizer police officer.
They will be in good company with law enforcement officers from home and abroad. Ten percent of their peers are international students -- a number of them are even generals.
"We'll be there with guys who are the Chief of Police in San Antonio or lieutenants from Boston and other major cities," Adams said. "This is a real challenge. I'm going to try to be competitive with grades, the physical stuff and in the classroom. I'm a competitive person."