WOLFEBORO - Wolfeboro Police Department Lt. Dean Rondeau not only survived 10 physically and academically challenging weeks at the prestigious FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., he aced it.
"Four point O," replied Rondeau when asked his grade point average. Some of his colleagues at the academy dubbed him the "overachiever." Rondeau received a graduate certificate in advanced studies in criminal justice from the University of Virginia in a graduation ceremony March 22 at the FBI National Academy Program in Quantico. FBI Director Robert Mueller handed out the diplomas.
In all, 268 law enforcement officers from Washington, D.C., 27 countries, four military organizations and five federal civilian organizations graduated from the 252nd session of the academy.
Rondeau said one of the lesser-known benefits of having graduated the academy is the connection with other law enforcement agencies and the benefit of accessing any FBI resource for investigations.
"It feels really good to be part of a much larger network of law enforcement," he said Friday, adding that he learned law enforcers all over the world face many of the same issues and utilize many of the same crime-fighting and investigation techniques as the Wolfeboro Police Department."
"We're doing it right," he said.
Academic work included graduate-level courses in executive leadership, intelligence and data-driven policing, behavioral sciences courses on violent crime and interviewing and interrogation techniques.
Rondeau first applied to the FBI Academy two years ago. It didn't hurt his chances at acceptance that he knew FBI field officers and Secret Service agents with whom he had worked on cases and during visits from national and foreign dignitaries, including Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who owns a vacation home in Wolfeboro, and former French President Nicholas Sarkozy.
Rondeau, 50, of Alton, is a graduate of Norwich University who also serves as a colonel in the Army Reserve. He has been with the Wolfeboro Police Department for 16 years, after graduating from the 110th New Hampshire Police Academy. Rondeau serves as Police Chief Stuart Chase's right hand man and the department's communications officer.
He said the academy required cadets to take courses on exercise kinesiology, nutrition, physical fitness in law enforcement and then apply their skills on challenging obstacles courses and a 3.1 mile run known as the "Yellow Brick Road."
"The obstacle course includes doing low crawls, cargo net climbs, maneuvering over obstacles on the trail, then running uphill 3.1 miles to the academy," he said.
Once completed, the agents received an honorary yellow brick to take home.