Brian Shalovelo is about to cross a major goal off his bucket list.
The Saskatoon Police Inspector is the only Bridge City officer at this year’s FBI National Academy training course, and only the fourth local officer in the program’s 80-year history.
The 31-year veteran of the force was nominated by police chief Clive Weighill to attend the invite-only, 10-week training course which began July 11.
“It’s like one of those yay moments, but then ‘oh my god, there’s a lot of work here,” Shalovelo, 56, said.
The program offers undergraduate and graduate courses at the FBI campus in Quantico, Virginia to around 220 officers from around the world, three times a year.
Before they graduate, officers have to complete the Yellow Brick Road, a 10 kilometre obstacle course designed by American marines.
“I’m cautiously optimistic. I think one of the biggest things is I’ve stayed away from injury,” he said.
Ages range from 31 to 63, with two dozen officers in their 50s, but the course and physical loads remain the same.
For the past two months, Shalovelo’s days have consisted for waking up at 6 a.m, suiting up in his uniform and attending both lectures and physical training classes. Shalovelo said he’s taking courses in leadership, psychology and the future of policing.
But he says he’s learned just as much by talking with his fellow officers as he has in the classroom.
“I’m here because I’m a thief for good ideas. I’m looking for take-aways, how other agencies do things, what works and obviously what doesn’t work,” he said, adding he has more than two dozen ideas scribbled in his notebook.
He said one thing he learned was when officers don’t have the support of the public, they stop being proactive in the community and crime rates begin to rise.
The course is paid for by American federal taxpayers and will wrap up on Sept. 18.