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Forsyth sheriff’s No. 2 man to fill top FBI academy position
Elected as Section III representative, will become group's President
Grady Sanford

Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Grady D. Sanford Jr. was recently honored at the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy Associates conference in Washington, D.C., by being elected to a national executive position.

Sanford, who has served on the Georgia chapter’s executive board for more than five years, was chosen as FBINAA’s Section III representative at the conference on Aug. 2.

The position lasts for four years, after which Sanford will progress through upper leadership positions, where he will ultimately serve as the international association’s president in 2024.

“This is a great honor to be selected by my peers as part of the strongest law enforcement leadership network in the world,” he said. “To be a part of this and make a difference in this organization is [important], and I’m excited to help the future of law enforcement. An opportunity like this doesn’t come around often.”

The “nonprofit, international organization of nearly 17,000 senior law enforcement professionals dedicated to providing our communities, states, countries and profession with the highest degree of law enforcement expertise, training, education and information” has 48 chapters total — 44 domestic and four international — 13 of which Section III covers, according to its website.

The majority of chapters in Section III are located in the Southeast but also reach to Virginia, Maryland/Delaware, Washington D.C., the Caribbean and Latin America and Puerto Rico.

Sanford, who graduated from the 242nd session of the FBI National Academy during the summer of 2010, is currently president of the Georgia chapter.

“I ran for vice president of the Georgia chapter in January 2012, and each term is a two-year commitment, so I decided to run for president in 2015,” he said. “In January 2016, I reached out to members of the FBINAA family to get feedback about running for [Section III] representative and got positive feedback, so I started the process of running.

“I had to submit a letter of intent and get a letter of support from my agency — which was Georgia State Patrol at the time — and I started campaigning in the spring of 2016. I’ve been going around to different chapter conferences and speaking at the conferences and giving information on the platform I’m running on since then.”

Sanford was one of three candidates for the Section III position and is the second person from Georgia to hold the position.

“My platform really focused on officer safety and wellness,” he said. “I want to bring to light and bring awareness about officers who suffer from PTSD and want [the community] to understand there is a high suicide rate among officers and health issues that affect them.

“I also focused on membership benefits — how to retain [FBINAA] membership and how retirees can help mentor the future law enforcement leaders.”

Sanford called the election “humbling.”

“I’m pretty excited about it,” he said. “This kind of election only comes around every four years, so they’re far and few between and the opportunity to represent Section II and then [later] the whole world is a great honor.”