EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — After three months of physical and mental training, East Rutherford Police Capt. Phil Taormina received his FBI National Academy diploma.
“It's an intensive leadership development program designed for graduates to bring back the principals to our own agencies,” Taormina said. “There were 219 cops from around the nation and world that went through my session.”
There are four sessions throughout the year with a limited number of seats, so being selected is a task in and of itself.
“The police chief has to nominate you and it took three years for them to process my application, just to be selected,” Taormina said.
The FBI National Academy is a professional development course for U.S. and international law enforcement leaders.
“We had people from all over the world,” Taormina said. “Most from the states, but we had people from Cambodia, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Georgia and Philippines.”
Selected officers must stay at the base in Quantico, Va., during training.
“We had to live for 10 weeks in a dorm with a room mate, it’s like college,” Taormina said.
Courses, credited by the University of Virginia, were all leadership driven including organizational change, law enforcement leadership, a media program, computer forensics and a cyber security class.
Additionally, officers trained every day to be able to complete a 6.1-mile obstacle course, the same the U.S. Maine Corps use.
“It wasn’t easy,” Taormina said. “It was intense on the physical aspect and also team building.”
Taormina received his diploma on June 20 — a great way to celebrate his 20th year serving on the force.
He is the first in East Rutherford’s police department to complete the program since the 1930s.
“I will cherish the memories we've made during our time together for the rest of my life,” Taormina said on his Facebook page after graduating.