By Ron VandenBoom
Capt. Mike Barthel of the Havre Police Department has been selected to attend the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia where he will receive 12 weeks of advanced training in the major facets of law enforcement pertaining to management, legal issues, and operational issues such as crime scenes investigations, and constitutional law.
Havre Police Chief, Kevin Olson, who was the first Havre Police Officer to attend the school in 1997, said Thursday that he submitted an application for Barthel over two years ago, but failed to tell him about it.
"I am very excited positive," Barthel said, when asked how he felt about his selection.
Barthel will leave Saturday for Quantico to join about 250 other trainees also going through the school.
Olson said the selection process requires the candidate go through a complete background check, hold the rank of lieutenant or higher, and be in an administrative position in order to qualify.
The process can take up to five years to complete and only six to eight slots are awarded to Montana each year.
Barthel was selected from a list of candidates from throughout Montana to fill one of six slots available to Montana this year, Olson said.
Olson said a FBI review committee makes the selection.
"It's the national academy," Olson said. "It's the top academy for the United States and very well recognized."
The 12 weeks of training also contains a physical fitness requirement that Barthel said he wishes he was better prepared for.
"I wish I was 21 again for that," he said.
Barthel will receive a certificate of completion and one semester of credits from the University of Virginia.
There will also be a graduation ceremony, Olson said.
Barthel will also become a member of the FBI National Academy of Associates which is composed of past graduates from throughout the country and around the world, Olson said.
"I just hope to better myself in my chosen career, which is law enforcement," Barthel said. "This is one way."
Havre Mayor, Phyllis Leonard said she believes Barthels training will be good for the city of Havre, adding that an experience like this will expose Barthel to innovative ideas.
"I know Kevin (Olson) has benefited by it," she said.