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Academy leader receives several awards, including LEEP honor

Posted by: Jennifer Gomori Posted date: May 9, 2019

Photo courtesy of Oakland Police Academy
POLC Executive Committee member Jeff Gormley (left) congratulates Oakland Police Academy graduate Grant Glende on his $2,000 LEEP Award.


By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor

Grant Glende showed his peers and instructors at Oakland Police Academy he knows how to be a leader and at the academy graduation ceremony he was recognized for that initiative with a Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP) $2,000 Award.

The LEEP Award, given to pre-service police academy graduates, is based on multiple factors including academic excellence, hands on skills, physical fitness and peer evaluation. “It’s a great help,” Glende said of the LEEP Award. “I’m extremely appreciative of it and completely honored to receive that award.”

“His academic average was solid, but his peer evaluation was very high,” said Oakland Police Academy Director David Ceci. “That pushed him over the top … which I think speaks volumes about him. As the Class XO (Executive Officer), he sometimes has to be the heavy hand and to still have the overall majority of the class rate him very high, that speaks volumes to his leadership ability.”

Glende made such a good impression with the academy at Oakland Community College (OCC) that he also received the $1,000 Sgt. James Collins Memorial Scholarship from the Collins family based on leadership and military service. He was noticed on a statewide level as well. “He’s getting the MCOLES award, which is a pretty big award for a cadet to get because it’s from the state,” Ceci said of the honorary award for Outstanding Performance.

Glende was one of 38 pre-service cadets in a graduating class of 51 on Dec. 14, 2018. Pre-service cadets pay their own tuition at academy.

Oakland Academy starts each new class off with a meet and greet of sorts. That’s where Glende shined. “Everybody introduces themselves and we do a team building exercise and see who takes the lead roles in those exercises,” Ceci said. “A lot of times the military experience lends them to that. (Glende) was a Corporal in the United States Marine Corps. He served for four years.”

The 24-year-old’s leadership abilities led to him being given the position of Class Executive Officer. “He helps the academy staff run the class. He’s the student level leader,” Ceci said. “He’s turned out to be the perfect pick for that position. He’s done a phenomenal job.”

Planning on getting married soon, Glende and his bride-to-be decided it would be better for him to work locally in law enforcement rather than in the military. “It was similar to the military and that’s the only other thing that would make me happy,” Glende said. “It was nothing but brotherhood, a family of people working together to achieve one goal. Law enforcement is the same mentality.”

Enjoying the structure of military service from 2012-2016, he had his next career move all planned out. After being discharged, Glende immediately began pursuing an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from OCC. “I rolled right into getting the degree and then rolled right into the academy after that,” he said. “I plan on getting my bachelor’s in 2019. I want to keep education rolling and further myself.”

“I can’t say enough of what an asset he was to our staff. He went above and beyond … he displayed excellent leadership and was great to work with,” Ceci said.

Glende was hired as a full-time Southfield Police Officer in March. “I just want to serve 25 to 30 years in law enforcement. I will figure out other opportunities along the way,” Glende said of other possible law enforcement positions.

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