Stoughton Police Chief Shastany Conquers “Yellow Brick Road” at FBI Academy

The 6.1-mile grueling fitness challenge at the FBI academy, otherwise known as the “Yellow Brick Road,” is no match for Stoughton Police Chief Paul Shastany.

As Chief Paul Shastany wraps up his 10 week elite FBI training at the in Quantico, VA he has accomplished yet another feat, his completion of “The Yellow Brick Road”.

The final test of the fitness challenge became known as the “Yellow Brick Road” when Marines used yellow bricks to mark the trail.  It is described by the FBI’s National Academy as a  “6.1-mile grueling run through a hilly, wooded trail built by the Marines.”  

“I am finally able to say, ‘I earned a yellow brick.’ I have waited over 20 years for this,” Chief Shastany wrote on Facebook.

In February, the Chief was as one of six Section Leaders representing the 260 law enforcement officials attending this session of the FBI Academy.

Chief Shastany took time after completing the Yellow Brick Road to share his good news with his friends on Facebook. His post is below:

I am a happy man! The course is nasty! The buses dropped us off 1/4 mile before the start of the run. Ok, you guessed it, we ran like idiots to the beginning point, spending energy. Our adrenaline and nerves pushed us to the starting line. Then…wait for our turn.

Okay, now it's time to tighten up those muscles and wait for the green light. Our group, section 2, got the ‘blah blah, don't hurt yourself’ speech. I was like a coiled spring. Let me go for the love of God! Then Go! Oh my god, here we go, running up hills, down steep inclines, slogging through mud. Then The first obstacle, over a six-foot wall. Are you kidding me? Done.

Then the ropes. Muddy slopes and steep rock cliffs. Yeah, sure. Zip, zap, zap, and up I went. This little appetizer set us up for walls, logs, cliffs, steep declines, muddy trails, ropes, and barbed wire pits filled with water to crawl thru. Heaven on earth? Not so much.

After this, a 1/4 mile uphill gravel road run. I was met by one of my favorite teachers. FBI Special Agent Mike McAuliffe. He ran the last 3 miles with me. He is my hero, along with my wingman, Captain Al Ponenti, of NJ SP. They helped to make the run easy for me. I will tell you now, these men are the epitome of selfless servants. They are what I aspire to be. I am humbled by them.
As we entered the FBI gate and rounded the corner, I felt alive. One quarter of a mile to go!

I was joined by several friends in the session as I ran. I stepped on the gas and outran a couple of the group ahead of me. The crowd of cheering classmates calling my name lifted my spirits. I ran my tail off, blasted by them to the cheers of the first group. Yahoo! What a feeling!

I am finally able to say, "I earned a yellow brick" I have waited over 20 years for this. It is a big accomplishment for me.

My motivation is to be a healthy grandfather. This is for you Baby Rock, and for you Mom! Life is good.


Chief Shastany will be wrapping up his final days at the Academy next week and will be presented with his very own “yellow brick” to commemorate this monumental success prior to his return to the Stoughton Police Department mid-March.

Dwight Mac Kerron March 08, 2012 at 05:08 PM
Good for him!! I hope that his tenure as our police chief continues to keep us moving in the right direction.
Debbie Taddeo March 08, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Growing up as the sister of Paul I saw the passion, and fulfillment he had for his occupation. I always knew that he would never compromise or put limitations on his carreer goals. His integrity, loyalty, compassion and approachability are qualities he takes great pride in. I am proud to call him my brother!! Congratulations Paul on your HUGE accomplishments!!!


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