Grass Valley Police captain headed for FBI academy training |

Grass Valley Police captain headed for FBI academy training

John Orona
Staff Writer
Grass Valley Police Captain Steve Johnson has been invited to the FBI National Academy for 10 weeks of training, which begins in early October. Johnson shares a tender moment with his wife, Trish, during a badge-pinning ceremony in 2016.

After a months-long nomination process, where the most qualified law enforcement officers from around the world are winnowed down to just over 200 candidates, Grass Valley Police Captain Steve Johnson has earned 10 weeks of grueling training at the FBI National Academy.

“I would just like to say that I’m really excited,” Johnson said. “This is something I’ve wanted to do for quite a while and it’s a long process; it takes sometimes years to go through the nomination and selection process.”

The FBI National Academy is a 10-week, invitation-only professional course for law enforcement officials across the globe who have demonstrated leadership at the local level.

“I’ve only known that folks from Northern California and Nevada are able to go only every few years so we’re really excited that Steve was selected and has the opportunity to go,” Grass Valley Chief of Police Alex Gammelgard said.

In order to be nominated, candidates must be in excellent physical condition, have an outstanding character and reputation, be a leader in their department, have at least five years of substantial and continuous experience, and commit to remaining in law enforcement for at least three years following graduation from the academy.

The academy offers classes in a wide range of essential areas, from intelligence theory to terrorist mindsets to law enforcement education. The coursework is so comprehensive that it can even be credited toward undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

Before attendees can graduate the academy, their final test is conquering the Yellow Brick Road, a 6.1-mile obstacle course through a wooded and hilly trail that features obstacles like wall climbing, running through creeks, scaling rock walls, crawling under barbed wire, and even jumping through windows.

If Johnson is able to make it through the final test he will earn an actual yellow brick to commemorate the achievement.

Johnson will begin attending the academy on Oct. 7 with a graduation date of Dec. 20. The FBI will be covering all costs of attendance, including travel, program expenses and lodging at the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Virginia.

“I just feel very fortunate and honored and I want to thank the city,” Johnson said. “I’m looking forward to representing Grass Valley well there and learning and rubbing elbows with law enforcement staff, not just across the country but from around the world, and bringing any of that knowledge back here and seeing how it can benefit our little department here in Grass Valley.”

Contact Staff Writer John Orona at or 530-477-4229.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.