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Instructor Spotlight: Scott DePietro


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Instructor Spotlight: Scott DePietro

By Brian M. Jones
Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers

Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) Senior Instructor Scott DePietro
Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) Senior Instructor Scott DePietro

Sometimes things just run in the family, and this is the case for Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) Senior Instructor Scott DePietro. With a family full of cops and teachers—his mother and wife were teachers, his oldest brother was a Florida State Trooper, and his brother, Rick, an officer with the Jamestown (NY) Police Department (PD)—combined with his own twenty-two-year law enforcement career, it was natural for DePietro to become a law enforcement instructor. 

As natural a path as it was, it almost didn’t come to be. DePietro had been seeking a path of his own as a pre-med student at the University of Miami, but along the way he began looking to move in a different direction. DePietro recalls sitting at the table with his mom and his brother, Rick, talking about looking for work. Rick told him that the nearby town of Ellicott (NY) was hiring part-time police officers and that he should apply. His mother interjected and made it very clear that she didn’t need all three of her boys being cops. He reassured his mother that it wasn’t going to hurt anything because there was no way they were going to hire him, so he went and interviewed. That night he came home with an arm full of uniforms. 

Scott DePietro (right) and his brother, Rick (left)
Scott DePietro (right) and his brother, Rick (left)

It wasn’t long before DePietro left part-time work in Ellicott and joined his brother at the Jamestown Police Department in a full-time position. His brother ended up being a mentor and partner and they spent years together working street crimes and narcotics. Twenty-two years brings a tremendous number of experiences and DePietro served in a wide range of roles during his time with Jamestown PD. He was recognized with several prestigious awards to include the City of Jamestown Police Department Medal of Valor. 

That recognition was just an outward symbol of the internal dedication and passion that DePietro has for the job, and he feels it is, “the most rewarding but also the most demanding career. I loved every aspect of it. But I enjoy the classroom.” The classroom was incorporated into DePietro’s career when he became an instructor at Jamestown PD in 1989 until his retirement in 2007. Following his retirement, DePietro worked for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) investigating fraud, but he expressed that his, “disconnect from law enforcement and instruction brought him back,” and in 2016 he started teaching at FLETC in Artesia. 

Since 2019, DePietro has worked in the First Responder Application of Behavioral Science Branch in Glynco, where he “provides oversight of proven, science-based curriculum to Basic and Advanced trainees, regarding interviewing, conflict management and communication skills.” Guiding students in communication techniques to defuse conflict is paramount to their success in the field. To successfully teach someone how to navigate and apply these intangible concepts, DePietro finds a way to connect to his students and serves a “mentor, role model, coach, and counselor,” leading them to having a great deal of trust in him and what he teaches. 

These connections have led to two classes nominating DePietro to speak at their graduation which he believes is a humbling experience. The level of passion he conveys when speaking about his job, his classes, and individual students is undeniable and DePietro understands the incredible value that instructors have on the future of law enforcement. With earnest and genuine expression, DePietro says, “If I can relate to one student, connect with them somehow, someway, to make their job safer, better, and easier, then I have done my job as an instructor.” 

Scott DePietro with his children.
Scott DePietro with his children. 

Not only has DePietro influenced countless numbers of officers, but he also was an amazing example at home. The aptitude for police work, teaching, and leadership has found its way into the next generation of the DePietro family as his children have found their way to serve as well. DePietro says they, “have been my rock and inspiration after the passing of their mother, my wife.” Scott, his oldest is a K-9 Explosive Supervisor for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA); Nicole is a teacher; Garrett is with the U.S. Border Patrol, and Caleigh is a Regional Coordinator for Jersey Mike’s Subs.