Liberty County Sheriff’s Capt. Billy Knox has returned from a 10-week course at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va. Knox was part of the 277th session of the National Academy consisting of men and women from 50 states and the District of Columbia. The class included members of law enforcement agencies from 34 countries, five military organizations and nine federal civilian organizations.
Knox applied for the academy in July 2018 through the FBI’s Houston office. He was one of 19 Texans and the only person from Liberty County attending the 277th session. Entry into the program is highly competitive, with some applicants waiting years before they are finally accepted.
“Some of the guys I was there with had applied 6 to 10 years ago. You apply and get put on a list,” Knox said.
Knox is the first person from the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office to be chosen to attend this academy, according to Sheriff Bobby Rader.
“There are hundreds of applicants and very few are chosen. He has a good work ethic and I know he will share the leadership skills that he learned,” Rader said. “LCSO will benefit from the contact he made. I am very proud of his accomplishment.”
While there were other disciplines taught at the Academy, Knox chose the executive management courses to help him be a better leader for the Sheriff’s Office, where he heads the Criminal Investigative Division.
“They had forensics and drug-related classes but I took the ones that were for executive level positions to lead an organization,” he said. “I took six different classes related to police leadership with topics such as at-risk employees and critical analysis of present-day policing.”
The classes started at 7:30 a.m. every day and ended just before 5 p.m. His training also include 3 to 4 days each week of running, workouts and other fitness challenges. At the end of the training, he had to complete a grueling 6.1-mile run through a hill, wooded trail known as The Yellow Brick Road.
Knox said the trail was challenging, but after weeks of physical training, he was prepared.
The connections he made with law enforcement officers throughout the country will be useful for years to come, he said.
“The networking is really beneficial to us. That’s a huge plus. If I need information on a case in another city and state, like Baton Rouge, La., I can call my guy over there and get information. We also learned from each other by seeing what works for them and what doesn’t work,” Knox said.
Knox has worked for the Sheriff’s Office since 2004. He is a graduate of Tarleton State University where he earned a degree in Criminal Justice Administration. After college, he completed the University of Houston Police Academy in 2001.
Since the FBI National Academy began in 1935, more than 52,000 graduates have completed the course. The National Academy is held at the FBI Training Academy in Quantico, the same facility where the FBI trains its new special agents and intelligence analysts.