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Photo of John Piatanesi

John Piatanesi

Director of Western Colorado Peace Officers Academy, Technical Instructor of POST Academy

Contact Information

Western Colorado Community College: Bishop Campus



Graduated FBI National Academy United States Department of Justice

Graduated FBI Academy

Graduated Illinois State Police Academy

BA, Western Illinois University

AA, Moraine Valley Community College


John Piatanesi received an associate degree from Moraine Valley Community College and received his Bachelor of Arts from Western Illinois University, and then went on to graduate from the Illinois State Police Academy, FBI Academy and FBI National Academy. Piatanesi is Director of Western Colorado Peace Officers Academy as well as a technical instructor of the POST Academy, where he teaches Basic Police Academy, Basic Law, Arrest Control, Law Enforcement Driving, Firearms, Physical Conditioning and Fitness.

Piatanesi's teaching skills are reality-based and obtained over a 34-year career in security, local and federal law enforcement. He is a hands-on instructor that leads through example and through analysis of situations. Students respond outside of the classroom to his 'lead by example' teaching and lifestyle. Piatanesi avails himself as a mentor and confidant to any students or person interested in becoming involved in a professional law enforcement career.

After graduating from Western Illinois University Piatanesi was employed as the Security Manager for a large retailer based out of Michigan. After three years he joined the Orland Park Police Department in Illinois. His assignments included being a juvenile officer, firearms instructor, field training officer, breathalyzer operator and being a member of their Special Weapons and Tactics Response team.

After five years he was recruited into the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a special agent. Piatanesi graduated from the FBI Academy in January 1987 and was sent to the Denver division. During his time in Denver he investigated a multitude of federal violations which culminated in successful prosecutions. After five years he was transferred to the Detroit division where he was assigned as a team leader/relief supervisor for a fugitive squad assigned to the violent crime section. While in the FBI, Piatanesi took on extra assignments which included being a Firearms Instructor, Defensive Tactics Instructor, Tactical Instructor, New Agent Field Trainer, became a member of the FBI SWAT Team for 18 years and was the sniper/observer team leader.

After 13 years in Detroit, Piatanesi was transferred to Grand Junction, where he worked a plethora of federal violations to successful conclusions. After 26 years with the FBI he retired and started his own business called Orion Investigations, LLC, which accepts private investigative, government and security contracts on a case-by-case basis. Piatanesi is a volunteer with Mesa County Partners and with the Veterans Administration Wounded Warriors organization.