HOBART | The 11 weeks he spent at the FBI National Academy earlier this month proved life-changing, police Lt. David Grissom said.
Grissom, who graduated from the academy on Dec. 14, lost 25 pounds during the vigorous training and gained considerable leadership knowledge with those he met while based in Quantico, Va.
"It's nice to bring back those ideas from all over the world on how to run the department," Grissom said.
Grissom, 46, who serves as investigations commander and public information officer, is only the second officer from the Hobart police department to attend the academy.
Retired police Lt. Leo Finnerty attended the academy in early 1999.
Police Chief Jeff White called the FBI National Academy a "big deal with law enforcement."
"We're very proud of Dave. He's bringing back that knowledge he learned there and putting it to work right away," Grissom said.
In addition to 18 hours of college credits earned at the academy, Grissom also brought back two bricks significant of the physical training he underwent.
Grissom said he earned a yellow brick because he successfully completed the Yellow Brick Road course.
The Yellow Brick Road 9.2-mile course includes a 3-mile obstacle course run followed by 6.2 miles of running up and down hills, Grissom said.
In addition, Grissom also earned a blue brick for swimming 34 miles while at the academy.
"I swam a mile the first day and just kept working my way to my goal during my weeks at the academy," Grissom said.
Going back to school again for Grissom meant living in a dorm, sharing a room with four other men, homework and even researching and writing term papers.
"It's something I haven't had to do for 25 years," Grissom said.
The courses he took included ethics, leadership and media relations.
There were 260 in his academy class representing 49 states and many countries.
Grissom said he had to turn down two previous opportunities to attend the academy and is thrilled he finally got his chance.
"It's been a long wait," Grissom said.
Grissom, a 20-year veteran with the Hobart Police Department, graduated from River Forest High School in 1985.
Grissom and his wife, Shelby, are parents to Tyler, 17, and Bryana, 16, both Hobart High School students.