On March 22nd, two hundred and sixty eight law enforcement officers from agencies in this country and around the world, graduated from the FBI National Academy Program at Quantico, Virginia. And this year, for the first time in decades, one of those officers was a member of the Summit Police Department. After completing the challenging 10 week course, Lt. Michael J. Rabasca proudly represented the City of Summit and joined the ranks of FBI National Academy graduates who make up less than one percent of the country’s law enforcement officers.
The National Academy program has been in existence since 1935 and is internationally known for its academic excellence. Officers participate in a wide range of leadership and specialized training, sharing ideas, techniques and experiences with each other. This can create lifelong partnerships that cross state and international boundaries, fostering cooperation and shared knowledge between law enforcement agencies worldwide.
The fitness component of the Academy is epitomized by the “Yellow Brick Road,” a grueling run through a hilly, wooded trail built by the Marines, with a series of obstacles to surmount: rock faces, creeks, barbed wire, walls and more. It gets its name from the yellow bricks left by the Marines to show runners the way through the course and presents the final physical challenge at the Academy.
The participants in the Academy are leaders and managers of state and local police, sheriffs’ departments, military police organizations and federal law enforcement agencies and they attend by invitation only through a nomination process. The invitees are drawn from all over America and from over 150 international partner nations.
Summit Chief of Police Robert Weck, accompanied by Captains Andrew Bartolotti and Steven Zagorski, and Det/Sgt. Peter Frank, was at the graduation ceremony whose principal speaker was FBI Director Robert Mueller. Chief Weck noted, “I could not be prouder of Lt. Rabasca, who is the commander of our Detective Bureau. This was something he really desired to do, even though it meant leaving his family for ten weeks and undergoing real physical challenges. The entire department and I supported him one hundred percent both personally and professionally, and his achievement is evidence of our ongoing commitment to continuing education in the upper ranks of our Department. The community will be well-served by the leadership and technical training Lt. Rabasca received and the contacts he has made. Hopefully, we will have other officers who are willing to accept this challenge in the future.”