San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas


San Marcos Police Department Cmdr. Kelly L. Earnest graduated from the 253rd session of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va. after completing a 10-week program recently.

Kelly Earnest

Kelly Earnest

Earnest is the day-shift commander for the department, overseeing two day shifts, foot and bike patrol, mental health officer, and motorcycle officers. She was formerly night shift supervisor and had worked nights for the past 16 years.

“I was fortunate enough to be chosen to participate in this excellent program offered by the FBI,” Earnest said. “I hope to bring back to the agency many of the experiences I had, as well as the education and leadership training that I received at the Academy.”

Less than one percent of all law enforcement officers are invited to attend the training school’s leadership and management training program hosted by the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the bureau said in a statement. Participants are drawn from across the United States and its territories and from international nations.

Earnest’s session consisted of 216 law enforcement professionals from 48 states, 24 countries and three branches of the military. Instructors provided advanced instruction in law, behavioral science, forensic science, understanding terrorism/terrorist mindsets, leadership development, communication, and health/fitness. On average, the law enforcement officers have 19 years law enforcement experience and usually are in top executive level positions.

Also part of the training was the “Yellow Brick Road,” a rigorous an optional fitness challenge. It consists of a 6.1-mile run through a hilly, wooded trail built by the Marines. Along the way, the participants must climb over walls, run through creeks, jump through simulated windows, scale rock faces with ropes, crawl under barbed wire in muddy water and maneuver across a cargo net. When this test is complete, they receive an actual yellow brick to memorialize their achievement.

A total of 46,826 graduates represent the FBI National Academy since it began in July 1935. About 29,313 of those academy grads are still active in law enforcement work.


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One thought on “San Marcos police commander graduates FBI academy

  1. As a criminal justice major, a hearty congratulations to the FBI graduate. I will be working for the FBI soon, and will graduate with honors.

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