Morrow police Capt. Greg Tatroe receives congratulations from well-wishers Tuesday. He will head to Virginia next week to attend the 10-week FBI National Academy.
MORROW Morrow police Capt. Greg Tatroe didn’t recognize the phone number of the person calling him at a training seminar in Florida last November, but a little voice told him he needed to take the call.
It turned out to be the FBI and they were looking for him.
While a call from the federal agency might normally be dreaded, this call wasn’t so bad. It didn’t have anything to do with missing people or federal crimes.
It was actually the realization of a long-time career goal for Tatroe.
“Sometimes I don’t answer if I don’t recognize the number, but I answered it and they said ‘Hey you’ve been accepted into the National Academy,’ ” Tatroe said. “I’m really excited.”
Wednesday was Tatroe’s last day on the job in Morrow for the next three months. He will leave for Quantico, Va. April 6 and begin his FBI training two days later.
Tatroe, who briefly served as the Morrow Police Department’s interim chief in late 2011 and early 2012, is the first Morrow police officer to go through the FBI’s training program in at least 10 years, according to department leaders.
It was a gift to him from the city and police Chief Chris Leighty to thank Tatroe for leading the department after former Chief Jeff Baker was arrested by his own officers for DUI and resigned in November 2011.
“He’s done nothing in the year that I’ve been here as chief to disprove his worthiness to attend the national academy,” Leighty said.
The city is picking up the costs of sending Tatroe to the academy.
“This is his opportunity to make the most of it and we’re looking forward to it,” City Manager Jeff Eady said.
Tatroe has worked in law enforcement for 21 years, beginning as a military patrol officer in the U.S. Army. He then served for Missouri years as a cop and has been with the Morrow Police Department for the last 15 years.
Leighty said it can normally take a year and a half for the FBI to review an officer’s application to the training academy. He explained Tatroe’s was processed a little faster because a friend of a chief who worked for the FBI heard about the city’s plans a year ago and offered to help.
The training mixes physical fitness activities and classes to learn the latest information about criminal justice subjects such as behavioral science, forensic science, terrorism and leadership development.
The training will last 10 weeks and Tatroe will be part of the academy’s 253rd session. His session’s graduation date is set for June 14.
“You’re awarded your diploma by the FBI director,” he said. “It’s going to be good.”
Participants must complete a 6.1 mile Marine Corps-style obstacle course known as the “Yellow Brick Road” and a 34 mile swim known as the “Blue Brick Road” before they can graduate.
Tatroe said he has been doing fitness training for six months for the academy, causing him to lose 35 pounds as a result.
After it was announced at a Morrow City Council meeting Tuesday that Tatroe was about leave for the academy, Councilman Bob Huie offered best wishes.
“Good luck on the ‘Yellow Brick Road,’ ” Huie said.