NOPD’s Commander of Compliance and policy implementation of the Consent Decree Otha Sandifer was one of the 227 law enforcement leaders throughout the country to graduate from the exclusive FBI specialized training academy in Quantico, Virginia.
Training included courses on terrorist mindset, communication, health/fitness forensic science, law, leadership development to an extensive obstacle course and grueling 6.1 mile run. Otha Sandifer was the first Commander to represent the NOPD in 5 years at the 10-week FBI Academy training, which is offered four times a year.
“The opportunity I just experienced is unparalleled compared to any other training,” said Commander Otha Sandifer. “In my opinion, it was truly top level training for law enforcement especially considering today’s climate with having to deal with the complex challenges in policing.”
Last Friday (Mar. 17), Sandifer graduated from the 10-week training where he completed a total of 17 hours of college courses, which included graduate credits and physical fitness courses including anaerobic power and sprint interval training. All courses were accredited by the University of Virginia.
Sandifer says transparency, community trust and collaboration were some of the biggest lessons he learned throughout his training.
“I learned that no matter how large or small the size of a department, whether in the U.S. or internationally, we all face similar challenges,” said Commander Sandifer. “So, it’s extremely important that we share our successes and failures with our fellow professionals to elevate standards in law enforcement and build upon the pillars of 21st Century Policing.”
Part of the training includes a fitness challenge developed by the U.S. Marine Corps that’s called “The Yellow Brick Road” where participants run through lowlands, muddy waters, simulated windows, hills, wooded tall walls, barbed wire and through a cargo net. Once each participant successfully completes the obstacle course, they’re rewarded with an actual yellow brick as a symbol of their accomplishment.
“It was challenging and rewarding at the same time, because we were well prepared," said Commander Sandifer."
Sandifer says in-depth, extensive trainings that focused not only on academics but also on physical wellness are crucial for future leaders in law enforcement and necessary to help departments adapt to recent changes in policing. He says he wanted to attend this training for continued leadership skills and as a way to encourage and motivate others in the NOPD.
“I knew I would probably set a precedent for other commanders and lieutenants to benefit from the training,” said Sandifer.