CCSP commander graduates from FBI national academy

Charles County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Joseph Pratta — soon to be captain — recently graduated from the FBI National Academy.

The Charles County Sheriff’s Office has announced that Lt. Joseph Pratta graduated from the FBI National Academy on Dec. 14, according to a sheriff’s office news release.

Pratta was one of 250 fellow law enforcement officers representing 50 states, 23 foreign countries, seven federal agencies and five military organizations to graduate from the 274th session of the National Academy. Pratta was nominated to attend the Academy by Charles County Sheriff Troy D. Berry (D) based on his leadership skills and professionalism.

Less than 1 percent of the nation’s law enforcement executives are selected to attend this highly regarded program, according to the release.

The academy is known internationally for its academic excellence, consisting of 10 weeks of rigorous training in leadership programs such as police management, advanced communications, criminal law, behavioral science and forensic science. Training is provided by the FBI academy instructional staff, special agents and other staff members holding advanced degrees, many of whom are recognized internationally in their fields of expertise. The program also includes a tough physical training component.

“The education and experience I gained at the National Academy will enhance the service I can provide to the Charles County Sheriff’s Office and the citizens of the county,” Pratta said in the news release. “We toured various facilities, took part in group projects, and met with a variety of people from different parts of the world. The instructors were subject matter experts and their training was eye-opening and valuable.”

In addition to the classroom training, Pratta participated in several fitness challenges including a 34-mile swim and a 34-mile row during the 10 week program. He also completed the Yellow Brick Road, which is a six mile obstacle course on the Quantico grounds and is the capstone fitness challenge of the National Academy.

“Accepting physical fitness challenges on top of the academic requirements was demanding but I’m proud to have accomplished this training and grateful for being accepted into this program,” Pratta said.

“Having graduated from the FBI National Academy a few years ago, I know this type of training is important and invaluable for our staff. They can take what they learn and better prepare themselves and their peers for policing in today’s changing and challenging world,” Berry said.

FBI Director Christopher Wray was the principal speaker at the graduation. Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker was also on hand to greet the graduates. Pratta joins the alumni of the FBI National Academy along with current sheriff’s office employees Berry and Brian Eley, director of administrative services and retired commander, as well as several now-retired commanders of the sheriff’s office.

Pratta is currently assigned to the agency’s Office of Professionalism and Responsibility. He was recently promoted to captain, which takes effect Jan. 19, and he will be reassigned to command the agency’s Criminal Investigations Division.