Veteran Livingston police officer graduates from FBI academy

A longtime Livingston police officer recently graduated from the FBI’s National Academy.

Lt. Chris Soria, 50, graduated Sept. 19 from the FBI’s leadership training program in Quantico, Va., Livingston Police Chief Ruben Chavez confirmed.

“It’s a rare opportunity to even be accepted into this prestigious program,” Chavez said. “I’m very excited to see Lt. Soria implement his new skills and knowledge here.”

The 10-week program offers classes from the University of Virginia covering courses ranging from death investigations and behavioral and forensic science to media relations and terrorism-threat assessment, Chavez said.

“Many of the graduates go on to become chiefs of police,” he added.

Perhaps the most famous aspect of the training is the “Yellow Brick Road” fitness challenge, a grueling six-mile run through a wooded trail built by the U.S. Marine Corps. in the early 1980s.

Participants “climb over walls, run through creeks, jump through simulated windows, scale rock faces with ropes, crawl under barbed wire in muddy water (and) maneuver across a cargo net,” according to the FBI website.

Soria joined the Livingston Police Department in 1983.

“He has really committed himself to this department and to this community,” Chavez said. “He’s the most senior person in the department and has such a rich historical knowledge of the department and community.

“He’s always done an outstanding job. We’re very excited to have him complete this impressive achievement,” the chief said.