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River Falls Police sergeant earns FBI training credentials

Jon Aubart of the River Falls Police Department stands at the FBI Academy entrance earlier this year. Aubart, promoted to sergeant in 2001, oversees the RFPD’s Investigative/Youth Services Division. He also serves on the Pierce County Board. He and his wife Sue, head bank teller at First National, live in the town of River Falls.

Following a truce among the nation’s politicians, River Falls Police Sgt. Jon Aubart drove more than 1,100 miles for a second time to the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va.

This time he and 220-some other law enforcement officers -- most but not all from the U.S. -- completed 10 weeks of highly specialized training before returning home.

In a March 28 ceremony, the class was given graduation diplomas by FBI Director James Comey.

Aubart’s FBI experience was set to start last October. However, he finished only a day of training before a Congressional budget deadlock shut down the program and the federal government.

Before that, just the application process to be admitted to the FBI National Academy took two years.

Aubart said the educational benefits from the FBI’s professional expertise made the wait worthwhile. He’s still absorbing a wealth of knowledge that he’ll share with RFPD colleagues as needs arise.

The 52-year-old Aubart, hired in 1993 as a full-time patrol officer, said he’s returned to the sergeant’s job feeling “like his batteries are recharged and upgraded.”

“Overall, the depth and level of the training exceeded my expectations…It was a heck of an opportunity,” Aubart said, expressing thanks to Police Chief Roger Leque and the city of River Falls.

“I think it shows the city’s commitment to have well-trained people,” Aubart said.

Other than paying Aubarts’s police wages and some uniform expenses during the academy training, there was no cost to the city.

Back in 1995, Leque also graduated from the FBI National Academy.

“It certainly provided state-of-the-art information that I brought back to our department,” Leque said. “Further, our department is committed to providing high quality professional police services to our community.”

Leque said that commitment is renewed by sending a “highly dedicated and competent” officer like Aubart to go through the FBI program.

Aubart said he selected the college-level courses he took. All had local law enforcement applications.

One class was called Legal Issues Impacting Law Enforcement Operations, including the critical component of using force and the due process clause that protects citizens in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

“Force and how it’s used directly affects all police departments,” Aubart said. “We also studied up-to-date federal court cases and how they affect us at the local level.”

There was also an interesting Forensic Science for Police Administrators class that covered evidence collection, document examinations, fingerprint and blood spatter analysis, explosives, DNA and drug testing plus the latest on the proliferation of new synthetic drugs.

Aubart called another class on Computer Crimes for Police Supervisors, ranging from identity theft and child porn to fraud and threats, “enlightening,” especially the part teaching the “latest techniques for recovering information.”

The FBI classes earned Aubart 18 academic credits from the University of Virginia. He called the college level instruction sophisticated and rigorous.

Aubart was housed in a six-story dorm. He had a weekday class schedule of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for 10 weeks.

Aubart relished the wellness and nutritional instruction. He said exercise drills struck a balance between strength, speed, agility and conditioning.

“It wasn’t about body building, but realistically geared toward improving the practical fitness needs of a law enforcement officer,” he said.

For the complete story on Aubart’s FBI training, please see the April 17 print edition of the River Falls Journal.