Sheriff’s Office lieutenant graduates from FBI Academy
August 6, 2017
A Steamboat Springs native has completed an elite training that has helped him realize that the challenges facing local law enforcement are shared by other agencies throughout the world.
Routt County Sheriff's Office Lt. Doug Scherar was joined by 227 other law enforcement officers who graduated in June from the FBI National Academy Program at Quantico, Virginia.
It is a prestigious and very competitive program, with only about 1 percent of applicants being selected.
"It's something a lot of law enforcement executives try to get into," Scherar said.
Local alumni of the program include Steamboat Springs Police Chief Cory Christensen.
All costs associated with attending the 10-week training were covered by the FBI, which started the program in 1935 following a recommendation from the Wickersham Commission.
The commission recognized a need to standardize and professionalize law enforcement agencies across the country by using centralized training.
The program's curriculum has changed through the years.
During World War II, courses were taught in espionage and sabotage, but these days, the program focuses on advanced communication and leadership.
"It's all academic," Scherar said. "It's more like a college setting. We stayed in the dorms and ate cafeteria food. We had a lot of thought-provoking conversations."
Scherar took courses that focused on media relations and leading at-risk employees who are exposed to disturbing situations, such as homicides involving children.
Scherar received training from FBI instructors, special agents and other staff members holding advanced degrees, many of whom are recognized internationally in their fields of expertise.
There were students from 47 states and 24 countries, including Turkey, Pakistan, Jamaica and Japan.
The diverse group provided Scherar with his biggest takeaway.
"Some of the issues we deal with, people are dealing with the same personnel and law enforcement issues around the world," Scherar said.
Those issues include the challenges with recruiting and pay.
The training Scherar received puts him on course to advance his career, if he chooses.
"Where this will take me, that's kind of up in the air," Scherar said. "It depends on where the Sheriff's Office goes from here."
Sheriff Garrett Wiggins is up for election in 2018.