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—Submitted photo

Ryan Doty, a 1996 St. Edmond graduate, also a lieutenant with the Des Moines Police Department. Doty recently completed the FBI’s National Academy training program.

DES MOINES – Enrolling in the FBI’s National Academy training program wasn’t just about professional development for Fort Dodge’s native Ryan Doty.

This journey became personal.

Doty recently completed the prestigious and rigorous 10-week system, which accepts only 1 percent of law enforcement officers worldwide. The 1996 St. Edmond graduate, who currently serves as a lieutenant for the Des Moines Police Department, fulfilled a promise to his late father – long-time Fort Dodge Police Department pillar and former Chief Kevin Doty – by finishing what started as a conversation with his dad nearly four years ago.

“Dad and I discussed applying for the National Academy when the opportunity to represent the DMPD presented itself in 2018,” said Doty, a former member of the Fort Dodge department who has been on the Des Moines force since 2005. “When I was selected and set to attend, he was very proud. Dad never got the opportunity to attend NA, instead attending the Chief Executive Leadership Course at the Southern Police Institute in Louisville, Ky.

“We talked about his experiences and what NA would offer at length. Then just over a month before I was set to go, we got dad’s cancer diagnosis. Against his wishes, I withdrew from Session 219. He made me promise that no matter what the future brought, I would attend NA. Then COVID hit and NA classes were suspended for two years. I was scheduled to go in the fall of 2023 but received a call stating they had an opening in (Session) 281 if I could get paperwork and medical requirements filled out within the week. ”

-Submitted photo

Ryan Doty and wife, Rachael, pose after his graduation from the FBI’s National Academy in Quantico, Va., Last month. Doty, currently a lieutenant with the Des Moines Police Department, is a 1996 St. Edmond graduate.

Doty attended the FBI NA program from Jan. 10 through March 17 in Quantico, Virginia.

The Academy campus, which is housed within a 547-acre Marine Corps base, is home to the FBI recruit academies and the FBI National Academy, with separate dorms and classrooms for both. The FBI-controlled grounds where the training academy is also located is home to a large forensic laboratory, office buildings and the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team (HRT).

“Ten weeks away from your family is difficult, but I was blessed to have their support,” the 43-year-old Doty said. “They knew that attending and graduating from NA was not only a lifelong dream of mine, but it was also the fulfillment of my promise to dad.

“As much as I learned and as great of an experience as it was, knowing that they would be proud of me was the most fulfilling part. I miss him incredibly. ”

Kevin Doty died after a six-month battle with cancer in April 2020. He was 66 years old.

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Ryan Doty (fourth from right) stands with his FBI National Academy classmates at Monitcello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, in Albemarle County, Virginia. Doty is the 1996 St. Edmond graduate.

Ryan got an early start in the field in Fort Dodge the year after he graduated from St. Edmond. He served on the Fort Dodge Police Department, alongside his dad, from 1997 until 2003.

“As a young kid, I remember going to coffee with the likes of Bob Webb, Doug Utley and my father,” said Doty, who is in his fourth year as a DMPD lieutenant. “There was no doubt in my mind what I wanted to be when I grew up. (FDPD) Chief Ivan Metzger gave me the opportunity to work alongside those men, my childhood heroes, when he hired me at the Fort Dodge Police Department.

“Even before then, though, I saw my parents work multiple jobs to make sure my sister and I didn’t go without. Having been raised in a house where nothing worth having comes easy, I felt ready to accept Chief Metzger’s offer rather than go off to college like many of my friends. To be 43 years old and have 24 years of law enforcement experience is quite rare. It has been those experiences that have led me to where I am today both in life and within the DMPD. ”

Doty embraced the challenge of the FBI National Academy when the time came, thanks in large part to his lineage and daily influences.

“The FBI National Academy is known throughout law enforcement circles as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Doty said. “Only 1 percent of law enforcement officers in the world – we had 27 international students in my session – are accepted to attend the FBI NA.

“If you look around at the chiefs I have had the pleasure to work for and with, you will quickly see some similarities. One has graduated from the FBI NA. Des Moines Chief Dana Wingert and Assistant Chief Allan Tunks, along with West Des Moines Chief Chris Scott (a former DMPD lieutenant), all graduated from the FBI NA. Closer to home, lifelong friend and (current FDPD) Chief Roger Porter also graduated from the NA. It’s my interest to follow in their – and more importantly, my father’s – footsteps, that drew me to the National Academy. ”

The intensity of the process was felt immediately after Doty made his pledge to attend.

“Much like college, several weeks before the start, students are required to go online and register for specific classes,” Doty said. “With 257 students and only a certain number of classes being offered, the competition to get into classes is high. Students can choose to take undergraduate classes or graduate classes, which are accredited through the University of Virginia (UVA).

“I got on the website when classes opened and was fortunate enough to get all the classes I wanted. I took all graduate classes as I was told by past NA graduates that while these may be a little more work when it came to assignments, the conversations that took place during classes seemed to be less baseline information and more about advanced concepts, problems and possible resolutions. Most of my classes involved classroom discussions, presentations, a shorter reflection paper along with a longer final capstone paper. Every Wednesday we would have a physical challenge as a session and then have a guest lecturer. ”

Doty completed courses in Managing Organizational Change and Development; Contemporary Issues Challenging Law Enforcement Executives; Constitutional Law and Policing: Trends, Analysis and Application, Seminar in Managing the Law Enforcement Image; Essentials for Law Enforcement Executives; and Fitness in Law Enforcement.

“In the short term, graduating from the NA will help me obtain my Master’s degree,” Doty said. “By completing graduate level courses, I earned 15 credit hours through UVA. I was recently accepted into Liberty University’s Masters in Public Safety program, with the intention of graduating from the program next year. ”

Doty has a Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a public administration emphasis from Liberty.

Currently, Doty is the commander of the Vice / Narcotics Control Section at the Des Moines Police Department. With two majors retiring this spring and a captain doing the same, Doty may have several options to choose from within the department moving forward.

“This movement will open up several captain positions, which I hope graduating from NA will help me to obtain,” Doty said. “I love police work, and my current assignment is arguably the best job I’ve held, but at this stage in my career – much like my father – I find myself moving toward the administrative side of the job.

“My goal in becoming upper command staff is to help bridge real and perceived gaps between both the rank-and-file officers and management, as well as between the community and the police department that serves them. I feel the experiences I had and the things I learned at the NA will help me to accomplish this. ”

Doty’s formative years in Fort Dodge still resonate with him to this day, both professionally and personally.

“I love Fort Dodge,” Doty said. “It’s a working-class town, and I don’t mean one second that in a negative way. I know a lot of people who have done very well for themselves there, and the common denominator is they aren’t afraid of a hard day’s work. I consider my parents part of that group.

“Growing up in Fort Dodge shaped me into the person I am today, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.”

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