FBI Portland
Beth Anne Steele
(503) 460-8099
March 20, 2019

Sandy Police Chief Graduates from the FBI National Academy

Chief Ernie Roberts, Sandy Police Department, recently completed one of the toughest challenges available to local law enforcement officers: the FBI National Academy. In mid-March, Chief Roberts and three other Oregon law enforcement officers completed a ten-week training session at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

There is a highly competitive process local law enforcement officers must go through to be selected for this honor. That process includes a nomination by a supervisor; interviews with the candidate and co-workers to determine leadership skills and abilities; a background check; a determination of physical fitness; and the support of former National Academy graduates within the candidate’s organization.

“The National Academy is internationally known for its academic excellence and provides the unique opportunity to share best practices and forge partnerships with law enforcement officers from around the globe. The exceptional leaders chosen to attend form an exclusive group and only a few from Oregon are selected each year," said Renn Cannon, special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon. "We are proud to sponsor Chief Roberts and our other local partners in the National Academy."

Chief Roberts is a Portland native who began his law enforcement career at the West Linn Police Department as a reserve office in 1997. He joined the Baker City Police Department in 2000, and he transferred to the Sandy Police Department in 2004. During his career at the Sandy Police Department, Chief Roberts has worked in the patrol division, and, in 2012, he became a patrol Sergeant. In early 2017, he accepted the job as Interim Police Chief, and then the city named him the permanent police chief in June of 2017.

“Chief Roberts’ attendance to the FBI National Academy is a wonderful opportunity, not just for him but for the community he serves,” said former city manager and chief of police Kim Yamashita. “The ability to go, participate, and be part of a program that is so diverse, intense, and life changing will only enhance his already wonderful servant heart and leadership style. Chief Roberts has made the department his own and will continue, through lessons learned at this academy, to provide a level of professional service that makes the City of Sandy and its residents proud.”

During the ten weeks of training, local executive-level law enforcement officers spend most of their time in the classroom. Chief Roberts’ National Academy classes included: Essentials for Law Enforcement Leaders; Leading At-Risk Employees; Behavioral Science for Law Enforcement Leaders; Forensic Science for Police Administration and Managers; Contemporary Issues in Law Enforcement; and Fitness in Law Enforcement. The program allows participants the opportunity to earn college credits through the University of Virginia for some of those studies.

Each year, the FBI sponsors four sessions of the National Academy. Each session includes about 220 local law enforcement officers from throughout the United States and around the world. While in the academy, the officers and deputies live in a dorm-like setting. The FBI does not charge U.S. students for tuition, books, equipment, meals, lodging, or travel to and from their home.