Detective Lt. Carolina Pineda of the St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office has joined an elite group of law enforcement officials after successfully completing training at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va. Lt. Pineda was among 247 students from throughout the world who completed the rigorous 10-week training and graduated from the 285th session March 16, 2023. With Lt. Pineda is FBI Director Christopher Wray.

The invitation-only training is attended by leaders of state, local, federal, and international law enforcement agencies. Participants are selected through a nomination process conducted by their respective agency.

Lt. Pineda, a SJSO officer for 10 years, joined other officers in a variety of classes including Communication Skills for Law Enforcement Leaders, Critical Incident leadership, Decision-Making, Fitness in Law Enforcement, Effective Writing, Leadership in Investigative Strategies for Violent Crime, and Behavioral Science for Law Enforcement Leadership.

Developing communication skills with an emphasis on oral communication was important, Lt. Pineda said. “This course prepared me to become a more confident, concise, and fluent communicator,” she said. “Another focus was honing my writing skills by developing a clear, concise style of writing to apply to law enforcement writing.”

As a member of the major crime team for the St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office, Lt. Pineda said Leadership in Investigative Strategies for Violent Crime was a great learning experience. “I learned investigative and management strategies as well as the effectiveness of these strategies as it relates to investigating violent crime,” she said.

The academy also offered a great networking opportunity, Lt. Pineda said. “Building connections with others in law enforcement will be beneficial in the future,” she said. “I met many great leaders in law enforcement around the U.S. and the world. These contacts are now lifelong friends whom I hope to see again.”

Attending the FBI National Academy was a fantastic journey and a life-changing experience, Lt. Pineda said.

“The academy is truly a place to become a better leader and person,” she said. “My assignments and papers involved a lot of personal and professional reflection. The leadership skills I learned are tools I can use as a law enforcement leader within SJSO. These techniques and strategies will help with this profession’s challenges.”

Lt. Pineda is the first female officer in SJSO history to complete this prestigious program. Other current officers at SJSO who have earned this honor are Sheriff Mike Tregre, Captain Chip Wale, Captain Greg Baker, Captain David Lozano, Captain Brandon Barlow, and Lt. Troy Cassioppi