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Larry Seymour of Prineville Police Department focused on fitness, education and networking during 10-week stay

PHOTO COURTESY OF LARRY SEYMOUR - Prineville Police Captain Larry Seymour recently completed the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.Prineville Police Cpt. Larry Seymour is glad to be home and back in uniform.

He missed his friends, his family, his colleagues and the citizens he serves.

But thanks to his time away, he returns to the job with a wealth of information that he will apply as he interacts with employees and conducts local law enforcement.

Seymour is back from the FBI National Academy — not your typical law enforcement training academy.

Reserved for law enforcement executives, entrance to the academy in Quantico, Virginia, is a highly competitive process that requires nomination from a supervisor, an interview with the candidate as well as their colleagues, and a background check. The 10-week session also demands a certain level of physical fitness as participants routinely complete different physical challenges.

Seymour learned in November that he was chosen to attend the academy — and promptly hit the gym to prepare.

"I immediately started working out — almost every day from November to March," he recalls.

The efforts paid off as he dropped from 247 pounds to 224 by the time he left for Quantico. And he didn't stop there. Setting a goal of 205 pounds by the conclusion of the academy, he continued to focus on physical fitness and proper nutrition.

"We got up every day and worked out," he said. "The only bad part is when you go to eat and you have a buffet style meal breakfast, lunch and dinner."

He and his roommate, who oversees a 47-employee department in Pennsylvania, managed to show restraint, keeping away from the dessert portion of the meals.

"They had a quite the spread of a dessert bar," he said. "They are testing you."

Upon completion of the academy, Seymour had far exceeded his 205-pound goal, dropping to 196 pounds. He hopes to maintain his physical fitness regimen and continue eating properly in hopes of encouraging his Prineville staff to work out, eat right and live longer.

Seymour concluded that the FBI National Academy covered three basic things. While physical fitness was certainly one of them, two others — education and networking — proved to be just as valuable.

He noted that his class was comprised of law enforcement professionals from all over the U.S. as well as 24 different countries, and all of them offered unique perspectives from which participants could learn.

"We had officers from NYPD with 30,000 officers," he recalls, "and an agent from Brazil with a couple hundred thousand officers down there. Since I have been back, I have already seen 300-400 messages from our classmates to each other, working out different problems that we can pass on."

In addition, Seymour now has valuable connections to the FBI that will likely benefit the Prineville department in certain situations.

"The FBI wants to have relationships with every department," he said. "They have resources we don't have available, and we can use them. I now have a direct contact if we have a missing 3-year-old who gets abducted. I know who to call at the FBI to get major investigation help started — and everything is free."

The education portion of the academy has also armed Seymour with some valuable information and tools that he intends to apply back home. One of the classes, a master's level course in contemporary issues with police relations and law enforcement, highlighted the issues that agencies throughout the country face.

"It was real interesting. When we first started the class, we had to write down the top 10 issues in law enforcement in our town," Seymour recalls. "We all turned those in and they made a list of the top 10 all put together. Then they showed a list of the top 10 issues 25 years ago. About 75 percent of the list was the same."

Realizing that personnel nationwide deal with many of the same issues, the classmates were encouraged to think critically about how they could fix those problems and how the media and social media play into the issues.

Other subjects covered included forensic review, constitutional law and behavioral science, which studies the minds of killers, rapists, abductors and more.

"Another one of the good classes I took was in emotional intelligence," he added. "It's being taught not just to police but to businesses."

Seymour explained that it teaches how to react appropriately to different people based on their behavior and outward facial expressions and body language. He even learned about his own mannerisms and how they might come across to others.

"I will continue with emotional intelligence and learning the different aspects of that and practicing it," he said.

Back home, Seymour is not only happy to return to his family, friends and colleagues, he is left with a deeper affection for his community and his relationship with the people he is sworn to protect and serve.

"It's good to be back," he said. "It made me appreciate what I have here in Prineville as far as the citizen-police relationship. I think it's a good one."

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