Local captain gets the chance of a lifetime | SierraSun.com

Local captain gets the chance of a lifetime

Ryan Salm/Sierra SunPlacer Sheriff's Captain Jeff Granum describes his 10-week FBI National Academy program. He graduated from the rigorous academy June 8.

Jeff Granum has 13 years with Placer County Sheriff’s Department and 20 years with the San Jose Police Department under his belt, and he can now add FBI National Academy graduate to his resume.

Granum, 52, left his post in March as the Tahoe substation Placer Sheriff’s Captain for Virginia for a 10-week program of rigorous academic, management and fitness training. He graduated from the program June 8.

“The course is very challenging, not only academically but physically,” Granum said. “The purpose of the academy ” I would classify it as executive development.”

The FBI Academy Program was established in 1935 and is located on the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Va. More than 41,000 students have graduated from the academy program since its inception, including eight currently working for the Placer County Sheriff’s Department.

The program is a competitive one, often taking an applicant three or so years to get admitted, its graduates say.

In a class of 300, Granum was joined by 30 women, 30 foreigners from countries like Yemen, Israel and Syria, and high-ranking officials representing all 50 U.S. states.

Granum found the program’s most valuable tool to be the friends and contacts he made.

“You’re exposed to people from throughout the world ” what their departments are like, what policies they have, what mistakes they’ve made,” said Placer Sheriff Ed Bonner, a graduate from the program in 1984. “It’s just a chance of a lifetime, educationally and personally.”

“The academics, I would say, were definitely challenging,” Granum said.

He took a full load of academic classes and earned credit from the University of Virginia towards a Master’s Degree. He studied behavioral science and terrorism, organizational management and contemporary issues in police and media relations, among others.

Granum graduated from college in 1977 and was overwhelmed but excited about returning to school.

“My first reaction when I got there was, ‘What have I gotten myself into?'” he said.

With all the changes in store for Placer Sheriff’s Tahoe substation ” like a new building and the responsibility of a minimum security prison ” Granum concentrated his academic efforts on leadership and organization.

“My interest in it, number one, is for executive development. And I do have an interest in what’s happening currently with terrorism and homeland security,” Granum said.

The program was FBI-funded and though it didn’t cost the sheriff’s department, they did have to fill in for his absence.

“It means they lost me for just under three months, but there was no substantial cost … What did they get in return? Someone who is more highly educated and understands a bigger picture of management,” Granum said.

And department officials agree that it was worth the sacrifice.

“We look at it as an investment,” Sheriff Bonner said. “An investment in Captain Granum, number one. We believe he’s come back with increased abilities.”

Another highlight of Granum’s training was the exposure to many historical and political sites along the East Coast. He visited Washington D.C., New York City, the Pentagon and battlefields, and because he had a Secret Service agent in his class, got special tours of places like the White House.

“It’s quite an honor to be there, and quite tough to get there,” he said.

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