Lt. William Smith brings new ideas and tactics back to department, community

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: OREGON FBI - Gresham Police Departments Lt. William Smith attended the FBI National Academy.A Gresham Police Department lieutenant recently completed one of the toughest challenges available to local law enforcement — the FBI National Academy.

In mid-March, Gresham's Lieutenant William Smith, along with two other Oregon officers, completed a 10-week training session at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va. The FBI's National Academy brings together elite law enforcement officers from across the country and overseas partners.

During the training, officers spend most of their time in the classroom. 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.

"Attending the National Academy was a once in a lifetime 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," Smith said.

The program allows participants the opportunity to earn college credits through the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. In addition to the classroom work, participants also have physical training and activities.

"It is a unique opportunity that allows them to learn best practices, share their experiences and build lifelong relationships with other leaders," said Renn Cannon, special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon. "We are proud to sponsor (Smith) and our other Oregon partners in the National Academy this year."

Smith started his law enforcement career in 1996 as a reserve police officer in Gresham, and was sworn in full-time in 1997. He has worked as a patrol officer, defensive tactics instructor, firearms instructor, school resource officer and SWAT sniper. He was promoted to lieutenant in 2015.

Smith also served in the U.S. Army, U.S. Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve, for a total of 27 years of service. He served in the first Gulf War and was deployed to Iraq in 2004 and 2008-09.

He earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Columbia Southern University in Alabama and is working toward a master's degree in Criminal Justice. He's been married to Jan Smith for 24 years, and the couple has three children and one grandson.

"We are incredibly proud of Lt. Smith's accomplishment," said Gresham 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 Lt. Smith brought back with him."

Each year the FBI sponsors four session of the National Academy. Each includes about 220 local law enforcement officers. Participants are not charged for tuition, books, equipment, meals, lodging or travel to and from their home.

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