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Local lieutenant goes extra mile

Denton police Lt. Michael Beutner recently became the eighth person in 10 years from the local department to graduate from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy, and it sounds like he did both the department and the city proud.

Beutner not only successfully completed the mentally and physically challenging academy from the end of September through December, but he also brought home a couple of special bricks to commemorate his achievement.

Ask anyone who has attended the academy, and they can tell you about the fitness challenge called the “Yellow Brick Road.” It’s a 6.1-mile run through a hilly, wooded trail built by U.S. Marines and includes climbing walls and crawling under barbed wire in muddy water. If students complete this final, but optional, test, they receive a yellow brick in honor of their achievement.

Not everyone who attends the academy gets a yellow brick, so it’s quite a memento, but Beutner didn’t stop there. He also earned a blue brick by meeting academy swimming requirements — 34 miles during the 10-week run of the course. Only about 30 of those in his 250-member class received one of the blue bricks, he said.

Beutner told us that since he is a cyclist, swimmer and runner that he might have had an easier time than some of the other class members, but we think he was just being modest.

The academy, located in Quantico, Va., is open to officers in all 50 states and more than 150 international partner nations, and getting to attend was “an experience of a lifetime,” Beutner said.

In addition to helping him make many valuable contacts, Beutner told us, one of the main things he took away from the academy was an innovative physical training regime that he can use for the personnel in the Denton Police Department.

After working his way up through ranks of the department for 26 years, Beutner is now in charge of training.

Sounds like he’s the right person for the job, and it also sounds like his fellow officers will soon benefit from what he has learned.

Well done, Lt. Beutner. We know your wife, children and fellow officers are proud of you, and we join them in saluting your achievement.

You’re setting a great example for others to follow.