Meet the Candidates
GRADY SANFORD | Section III Representative
Dear Fellow Section III Members,
As a candidate for the Section III Representative, I wanted to share with you my values, ideas, and the dedication I have to building positive relationships with each chapter. As you all know, the Section III Representative will be the voice for our section on the FBINAA National Executive Board and it is imperative that this person has the best interest of all the chapters and their membership when making crucial and pivotal decisions. I am the candidate, who will not waiver on my duties nor be timid when bringing our section's ideas, thoughts and concerns to the National Executive Board.
One area that I find to be of the utmost importance to bring to the forefront of my campaign is the health and mental wellness of our law enforcement officers. I have found that we, as leaders, must be vigilant of our officers wellbeing and not let traumatic exposure in their career take down our valued officers. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), whether it be cumulative or a single incident, is devastating and detrimental to the officers mental and physical health, as well as to their families. I have seen and dealt first hand with officers and friends, who have suffered from mental and physical issues such as those caused by PTSD, including the suicide death of my close friend and the sitting President of the Georgia Chapter in 2015. This experience has instilled a drive in me to help officers and their families who suffer from these issues. I was humbled and honored in 2016 to be selected to serve as a member of the FBI NAA Officer Safety and Wellness committee, which has allowed me to work to improve our members’ ability to seek and receive the help they need when facing any crisis in their personal life. My goal is to be the voice of our membership and to continue to crusade to bring health and wellness programs to our members so they can have the quality of life they desire, especially after retirement.
Another area that I believe we should focus on is membership relationship and benefits. We all agree that the FBINAA is the most powerful networking tool in law enforcement today and is one of our most valued benefits. The membership is the life blood of our great organization and its growth is the key to the future of our association, as well as keeping our retirees engaged and active to help mentor our current and future leaders. Nevertheless, in order to grow, we must continue to focus on providing improved and continued benefits to both active and retired members to ensure their dues are being put to good use. As the Section III Representative, I will seek out additional benefits and work to keep those valued benefits we all currently enjoy.
I want to also share with you my background and qualifications to hold such a worthy position. I was born and raised in Gordon County, Georgia and have three adult children and one grandson. My wife, Raina and I are active in our community and attend Rock Bridge Community Church in Calhoun. I have 32+ years of law enforcement experience, beginning my career with the Gordon County (GA) Sheriff’s Office in 1984 and then serving with the Fairmount (GA) Police Department, before joining the Georgia State Patrol in 1987. After 29+ years, I recently retired as a Captain (Troop A Commander) with the Georgia State Patrol and now serve as the Chief Deputy of the Forsyth County (GA) Sheriff's Office. I hold an Associate of Science degree and a Bachelor of Science degree (Criminal Justice) from Thomas University, and a Masters of Public Administration degree from Columbus State University. I am also a graduate of the Georgia Law Enforcement Command College (Class 46), and the FBI National Academy (242nd Session). I currently serve as the President of the Georgia Chapter of the FBINAA and serve on the FBINAA National Officer Safety and Wellness Committee, as well as serving on the Executive Board of FBI (Georgia) LEEDS. I am also an Adjunct Instructor for Reinhardt University, teaching in the Bachelor of Criminal Justice program.
My goal is to work enthusiastically and diligently for our membership in Section III, guaranteeing our voice is heard and counted on the FBINAA Executive Board. Regardless of whether I'm elected or not, I will continue to work persistently to champion officer safety and wellness, and the importance of growing and taking care of our membership. I realize that this is not only a significant commitment, but it is also a paramount position for our association. I can promise you that I am up for the challenge, and it would be an honor to continue to serve the FBI National Academy Associates. I humbly ask for your support and vote in the 2017 election to be your next Section III Representative.
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