Tue, Jun 11, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Investigation officer graduates from FBI program

Staff writer, with CNA

Investigation Bureau officer Tsai Pei-wen, right, poses with a visitor to her stall at an event at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, in an undated photograph.

Photo: CNA

A Taiwanese investigation officer yesterday recalled training at the FBI National Academy, where she completed a physically and psychologically demanding 10-week program.

Tsai Pei-wen (蔡佩汶), an officer with the Ministry of Justice’s Investigation Bureau, said that the program covered all aspects of professional training required for law enforcement officers.

However, the most challenging part was a 10km run in the last week of the program that took candidates through a hilly, wooded course built by the US Marine Corps, known as the “Yellow Brick Road,” she said.

Participants had to climb walls, wade across creeks, jump through makeshift windows, scale rock faces with ropes, crawl under barbed wire in muddy water and maneuver across a cargo net, she said.

Upon completing the test, the students receive an actual yellow brick to memorialize their achievement, Tsai said.

She said that many trainees were unable to pass the final physical test, and that there have even been reports of deaths during the challenge.

According to official numbers, the academy has trained more than 50,000 officers from around the world since the program was launched in 1935.

Officers from Taiwan’s Investigation Bureau and National Police Agency have since 1961 participated in the training, and about 36 officers have graduated from the program, the Ministry of Justice said.

Tsai, having graduated from the program last week, is the latest graduate from Taiwan.

She was one of 27 female trainees in this year’s 256-student cohort, said Tsai, 34, adding that she was also one of 35 international trainees.

Most of the trainees were mid-level law enforcement officials with years of experience in crime-fighting, she said, adding that the average age of trainees this year was about 45.

As the only representative from Taiwan, Tsai said she also used the training program as an opportunity to introduce the nation to other trainees at the FBI campus in Quantico, Virginia.

During an event called International Night, Tsai displayed the Republic of China flag at her booth.

She also displayed local dishes during, including pearl bubble tea and century eggs.

“Those who saw the name of the eggs were a mixture of terrified and excited about trying them,” she said.

The program provided her with a unique experience, allowing her to sharpen her professional skills as an investigator, but also establish close bonds with colleagues from around the world, Tsai said, adding that she hopes to help boost Taiwan’s international crime-fighting efforts.

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