Detective Lt. Jeremy Cook of the University of Mississippi Police Department graduated from the FBI National Academy program on Sept. 15 in Quantico, Virginia. He was one of 224 law enforcement officers who graduated from the 269th session of the National Academy. Only 1 percent of all law enforcement across the world gets to attend the academy.
On average, the officers have 21 years of law enforcement experience and usually return to serve in executive level positions, according to the FBI press release.
The 10-week National Academy program, in which men and women from 48 states and 22 countries enrolled, offers advanced training in communication, leadership and fitness.
“I had classmates from Canada, Germany, Egypt, Palestine, India and other foreign countries, along with officers from the Los Angeles Police Department, Dallas Police Department, Orlando Police Department and New York Police Department, just to name a few,” Cook said.
Going through the academy with people from various backgrounds proved to be beneficial to the participating members.
“I learned a lot from everyone I came in contact with,” Cook said. “There were discussions about race, politics, gender and other issues that America is dealing with today. There were heated discussions, and the conversations were uncomfortable for some people but were needed.”
Though there were many different backgrounds and opinions at the academy, Cook said he felt nothing but respect for the other officers.
“I learned a lot about being a leader in law enforcement and how we are portrayed in the media and how we (as law enforcement) can make that relationship better,” Cook said. “Everyone at the academy, from instructors to officers, were respectful and always showed that they cared about you.”
Cook said his experiences at the university helped him immensely with his training at the academy.
“I have had the opportunity and the honor of being able to attend a lot of training while working here at Ole Miss. I have met important people and have worked alongside them to make this campus a safer and better place,” he said.
“Helping investigate the James Meredith statue vandalism and other cases I have been involved in really gave me the experience and confidence that I have today.”
Cook first became interested in officer training in 2009, when he was working at the Boys and Girls Club with a high school friend and UPD officer.
“He advised me to apply for a job opening for an officer position. At that time, I had never thought about being a police officer but applied, not thinking I would get the job or even an interview,” Cook said. “A week later, I was called to take a physical fitness test, and some time after that, I had an interview. I was offered the job and gladly accepted it.
“Looking back, this was the best decision I have ever made in my life and I thank UPD for giving me a chance and believing in me.”
Cook plans to use the knowledge he gained during the program to enhance his work for UPD.
“In the future, I plan to continue to work at UPD and maybe someday become chief of police somewhere, if not at UPD. That would be years down the road because I have a lot more experience to gain along the way. I plan to be a sponge and soak up all the knowledge I can.”