Capt. Hanson becomes first MPD graduate of FBI National Academy

By Stephen Milligan - the walton tribune

Monroe Police Department Capt. Tracy Hanson recently graduated from the FBI National Academy, the first Monroe officer to do so. Above, she shows off the dozens of patches and coins she got from her fellow classmates, who attended from 28 countries and 47 states. Photo credit: Stephen Milligan | The Walton Tribune

For 10 weeks, Capt. Tracy Hanson of the Monroe Police Department took classes, trained physically and bonded together with 246 other law enforcement officials from around the globe as part of the 285th class of the FBI National Academy.

The first MPD officer to attend the academy, Hanson said it was a life-changing experience.

“It was an honor,” Capt. Hanson said. “It’s something you hear about in law enforcement but don’t necessarily think you’ll ever go. It’s very humbling to be selected.”

Monroe Police Department Capt. Tracy Hanson receives her diploma for successfully finishing the training at the FBI National Academy from FBI Director Christopher Wray. Contributed photo

Internationally known for its academic excellence, the National Academy offers ten weeks of advanced communication, leadership, and fitness training. Participants must have proven records as professionals within their agencies to attend. On average, these officers have 21 years of law enforcement experience and usually return to their agencies to serve in executive-level positions.

This year’s class had law enforcement officers from 47 states and the District of Columbia, as well as 28 countries, four military organizations and five federal civilian organizations. Hanson got to know nearly all of them. Her roommate was from Poland, her classmates from Palestine and Ireland, her team members from Hawaii and other distant places.

“The relationships are one of the most beneficial parts,” Hanson said. “I have 246 people I can call for help in a bind. We have a Facebook group for our class already. A lot of life-long friendships were made.”

Hanson was nominated by MPD Chief R.V. Watts and went through the competitive application process, which selects the top 1 percent of officers from around the globe.

Once selected, she traveled to Quantico, Virginia, and stayed on the FBI cam- pus from Jan. 7 to March 16, taking six courses on a variety of law enforcement subjects for 17 hours of college credit and training outside as well. “It’s all leadership training,” Hanson said. “It’s education, physical training, networking and more. It tests you in every aspect. It’s a priceless experience.”

Hanson began her career with the Monroe Police Department in 2004. Her duties over the past 19 years include assignments in uniform patrol, criminal investigations and narcotics; she was also a K9 handler, and a Task Force Officer assigned to DEA-Atlanta. Hanson has a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Troy University. She has also graduated from Columbus State University’s Command College, where she earned a master’s degree in Public Safety Administration.

Now, with the end of her training at Quantico, she can add her diploma from the Academy, accredited through the University of Virginia. Yet her highest accomplishment, she admits, may be her brick. Hanson completed the so-called “Yellow Brick Road,” a 10K course which includes a 2.8 mile trial run through the USMC Endurance Course on Marine Corps Base Quantico. This course is the final PT test and each person who completes it gets their own yellow brick as a sign of their accomplishment.

Hanson shows off her yellow brick she received for finishing the 10K training course at Quantico, playfully nicknamed the Yellow Brick Road. Contributed photo

“I’ve gotten diplomas and awards, but getting that yellow brick means a lot,” Hanson said. “I was honored to be among those top officials there.”

Hanson said she’s proud to have been the first MPD officer to attend the Academy and said it was an invaluable experience overall.

“It’s the pinnacle of any law enforcement officer’s career to attend this training,” Hanson said. “We all
came out better leaders.”

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