Officer heads to FBI academy

FORTVILLE — The Fortville Police Department is sending its second officer in a year to the elite FBI National Academy.

Maj. Patrick Bratton left Hancock County this week for Quantico, Virginia, where he will participate in a 10-week training program coordinated by the nation’s top investigators.

The FBI National Academy was founded in 1935 as a training school for police officers across the globe. Today, the program offers education courses accredited through the University of Virginia that are free of charge to attendees in the hope of raising law enforcement standards worldwide, according to the FBI’s website.

The invitation-only program has long been seen as one of the top officer training courses in the nation, with fewer than 1 percent of law enforcement officers worldwide attending. The classes officers complete while attending the academy include coursework on intelligence theory, department management, behavioral science, forensics and drug enforcement tactics.

Bratton is the second Fortville officer to attend the academy this year.

Maj. Derek Shelley, the assistant chief of the department, graduated from the academy in March. At the time, he said he was eager to share the skills he’d learned in Virginia with his fellow officers.

Fortville Police Chief Bill Knauer — who attended and graduated from the FBI academy in 2008 — said the decision to send Shelley and Bratton to the academy shows the department’s commitment to having strong, skilled leadership.

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Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or