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Greensburg police captain to attend highly selective academy

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Greensburg Police Capt. Chad Zucco is going back to school next year for three months at the highly selective FBI National Academy.

Zucco will be in Quantico, Va., from Jan. 11 through March 20, joining nearly 250 other officers in a series of high-level training courses.

“They are world-class instructors there. I hope I can bring it back and use it in our department, to better our department,” he said.

The academy draws law enforcement officers from around the world, but the application process is rigorous and only a handful are selected. Officers must be nominated by an agent from their nearest FBI field office. Then they must get approval from their chief, fill out a 10-page application, have an interview with another FBI agent, and pass a rigorous physical examination.

“We are looking for leaders in the department who are looking up, or looking to take a leadership role, maybe one day become a chief,” said Brad Orsini, a special agent at Pittsburgh’s FBI field office.

The Pittsburgh field office, which encompasses Western Pennsylvania and all of West Virginia, sends 16 officers a year to the academy. Orsini said.

“The main objective is just to support their professional development, and to make them a leader in their department and a leader in their community,” he said.

Zucco has been a police officer for 20 years, 17 of those with the Greensburg Police Department.

He said he hopes his training with the FBI will help him bring new skills and techniques to Greensburg.

He will take courses in leadership and investigative techniques, including courses specializing in drug investigations.

“I think just as a whole, the process will be able to benefit me and benefit the department,” he said.

He will also participate in the academy’s intensive physical training regimen.

He said he has been preparing for the academy, using the FBI’s recommended preparation guidelines and working out harder than he has in years.

Before graduation, officers can test their skills against the “Yellow Brick Road” a grueling six-mile obstacle course designed by U.S. Marines.

Zucco said it will be difficult to spend months away from his wife, his two children, and his responsibilities at the city department, but the opportunity was too good to pass up. He is up to the challenge, he said.

“I’m away for three months. It’s going to be difficult, it’s going to be a challenge, but I’m excited for it,” he said.

Jacob Tierney is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6646 or [email protected].

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