Lt. Colonel Cody Melancon of the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, along with two hundred and fifty-four other law enforcement officers recently graduated from the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia in March. The 279th session of the National Academy consisted of men and women from 49 states and the District of Columbia. The class included members of law enforcement agencies from 32 countries, five military organizations, and eight federal civilian organizations.

Internationally known for its academic excellence, the National Academy offers 10 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.

Lt. Col. Melancon began his career with the APSO in 1995 as a reserve deputy in the communications division. He then joined the sheriff’s office full-time in 1996 assigned to the patrol division. Throughout his law enforcement career, he has served in the warrants division, dispatch/ communications, administrative services division, and currently oversees special operations for the sheriff’s office which includes the communications division, programs unit and information technology. Lt. Col. Melancon also serves as the commander of the hazardous materials team and a team leader for the Mobile Field Force Unit. 

FBI Director Christopher Asher Wray delivered remarks at the ceremony. Class spokesperson Jason M. DiMarco of the Westwego Police Department represented graduating officers.

FBI Academy instructors, special agents, and other staff with advanced degrees provide the training; many instructors are recognized internationally in their fields. Since 1972, National Academy students have been able to earn undergraduate and graduate credits from the University of Virginia, which accredits many of the courses offered.

A total of 52,795 graduates have completed the FBI National Academy since its began in 1935. The National Academy is held at the FBI Training Academy in Quantico, the same facility where the FBI trains its new special agents and intelligence analysts.