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Grass Valley police chief to receive FBI training

Grass Valley police chief Alex Gammelgard next month will attend a week-long training program put on by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The training, referred to as the National Command Course (NCC) on the FBI’s website, is specifically devised for the heads of smaller law enforcement agencies across the country. The NCC is being sponsored by the FBI’s training division and will take place in May at an FBI training facility in Stafford, Virginia.

According to Gammelgard, the program is geared toward small police departments with less than 50 sworn officers, and seeks to educate agency leaders regarding tools, resources, and partnerships that they can use to better lead their departments.



Gammelgard said he was first contacted about the training by a law enforcement official from Sacramento in late 2019 who encouraged him to apply. While he originally intended to participate in the NCC’s 2020 session, the training was ultimately canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so Gammelgard reapplied for 2021.

The police chief said that the NCC is a unique opportunity, both because the program is for smaller police departments with less than 50 officers, and because it’s the first year that the FBI has put on this particular training.




“Anytime you can go learn something and bring it back to the work that you do, that’s beneficial,” Gammelgard said.

While the day-to-day specifics of the week-long program haven’t been disclosed to participants, department leaders will have the opportunity to learn from and make connections with experienced law enforcement officials, Gammelgard added.

“I’m excited to get the formal education and perspective the FBI will bring through this course, and also learn from a number of law enforcement executives around the county,” he said.

Jan Arbuckle, Grass Valley’s vice mayor, said that Gammelgard’s selection for the NCC by the FBI is a significant honor for the police chief, as the program is extraordinarily selective and takes only a limited number of applicants.

“Anytime we can send one of our officers, who was picked out of a huge, large pool of candidates, to something like this is an amazing recognition of our small community,” she said.

Gammelgard’s training will be of benefit not only to Grass Valley but also other county agencies as well that partner with the GVPD, Arbuckle added, such as the county’s Sheriff Office and police departments.

“Whenever we can get officers, especially the chief of police, extra training like this, that’s extremely helpful not just in our department, but also because we interact with other departments in Nevada County, it really helps to have that knowledge,” she said.

Gammelgard is a 15-year veteran of of the Grass Valley Police Department, and has been the city’s police chief for five years.

Stephen Wyer is a staff writer with The Union. He can be reached at swyer@theunion.com.


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