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Follow the 'yellow brick' road; Midlothian captain graduates FBI Academy

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Captain Don Cole Proudly displays his hard earned “yellow brick” at the Midlothian Police Department. Captain Don Cole Proudly displays his hard earned “yellow brick” at the Midlothian Police Department.

MIDLOTHIAN - Climbing over walls, running  through creeks and maneuvering  across a cargo net are only a select few challenges Midlothian Police Captain Don Cole faced through his Marine designed obstacle course to obtain his “yellow brick.”

A “yellow brick” is something most in law enforcement know about and have hopes of earning someday themselves by attending the Federal Bureau of Investigation Academy. 

Something, this 23 year veteran of MPD was able to take advantage of.

Cole was accepted into the academy this January. From there, he spent 10 weeks in Quantico, VA attending classes from 8 a.m.- 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

“The classes are more in-depth courses on daily operations we run into here at the police department,” said Cole.

Taking classes in Interview strategies through statement analysis, Lab law issues for law enforcement administration, Fitness in law enforcement, Legal issues impacting law enforcement operations and Computer crimes for police supervisors earned Cole 17 college credits from the University of Virginia.

Running and exercising to build up to the 6.2 mile long obstacle course was “challenging, but fun.”

“We would go two hours each 3-4 times a week,” said Cole, who lost 10 pounds, three inches from his waist and 10% body fat over the 10 weeks.

The fitness challenge began at the National Academy in 1981 and evolved in 1998 after the Marines placed yellow bricks at various spots to show runners the way through the wooded trail. If you make it through the course, you are awarded a “yellow brick.”

Cole is just grateful he not only earned his “yellow brick” but, was accepted into the academy.

“Only two percent across the world are chosen,” said Cole.

The FBI National Academy started with just 23 students in July, 1935 and has increased to Cole’s class of 257 students, 20 of those students from 20 different countries. 

“I appreciate the chief [Carl Smith] and city of Midlothian allowing me to enhance my career in law enforcement by attending. I want to be the best captain I can be.”


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