Gresham Lieutenant Graduates from the FBI National Academy
Lieutenant William Smith, Gresham Police Department, recently completed one of the toughest challenges available to local law enforcement officers: the FBI National Academy. In mid-March, Lieutenant Smith and two other Oregon law enforcement officers completed a 10-week training session at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.
There is a highly competitive process local law enforcement officers must go through to be selected for this honor. That process includes a nomination by a supervisor; interviews with the candidate and co-workers to determine leadership skills and abilities; a background check; a determination of physical fitness; and the support of former National Academy graduates within the candidate’s organization.
“The FBI’s National Academy program brings together elite law enforcement officers from U.S. police agencies as well as from those of our overseas partners. It is a unique opportunity that allows them to learn best practices, share their experiences, and build life-long relationships with other leaders,” said Renn Cannon, special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon. “We are proud to sponsor Lt. Smith and our other Oregon partners in the National Academy this year.”
Lieutenant Smith started his law enforcement career in 1996 as a reserve police officer with Gresham Police Department and was sworn in as a full time police officer in 1997. He has worked as a patrol officer, defensive tactics instructor, firearms instructor, school resource officer, and SWAT sniper. In 2007, he was promoted to sergeant and subsequently worked as the team leader of SWAT and sergeant for the department’s gang, firearms, and training units. Promoted to lieutenant in 2015, he has worked as a watch commander and is the investigation lieutenant and SWAT commander.
Lieutenant Smith served in the U.S. Army, U.S. Army National Guard, and U.S. Army Reserve, and retired after 27 years of service. He served in the first Gulf War and was deployed to Iraq in 2004 and again from 2008 to 2009.
Lieutenant Smith earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Columbia Southern University and is working toward a Master of Science in Criminal Justice. He has been married to his wife Jan Smith for 24 years and has three children and one grandson.
“We are incredibly proud of Lieutenant Smith’s accomplishment,” said Gresham’s chief of police, Robin Sells. “Gresham Police Department has not had someone attend the FBI National Academy in over 25 years and I cannot think of a better person to represent our department. I'm excited for the innovative ideas Lieutenant Smith brought back with him.”
During the 10 weeks of training, local executive-level law enforcement officers spend most of their time in the classroom. Lieutenant Smith’s classes included: Advanced Psychology of Communication, Managing Organizational Change and Development, Fitness in Law Enforcement, Essentials for Law Enforcement Executives, Seminar in Media and Managing the Law Enforcement Image, and a Contemporary Issues in Law Enforcement Seminar. The program allows participants the opportunity to earn college credits through the University of Virginia for some of those studies. In addition to the classroom work, participants have physical training courses and activities.
“Attending the National Academy was a once in a life time opportunity to network with law enforcement professionals from all over the world and learn best practices from subject matter experts, and students, with real world applications,” said Lieutenant Smith.
Each year, the FBI sponsors four sessions of the National Academy. Each session includes about 220 local law enforcement officers from around the United States and around the world. While in the academy, the officers and deputies live in a dorm-like setting. The FBI does not charge U.S. students for tuition, books, equipment, meals, lodging, or travel to and from their home.