Gremillion first APSO female deputy to graduate from FBI academy

Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office Lt. Col. Laura Gremillion added another first to her long list of accomplishments.

Gremillion is the first female from the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office to graduate from the FBI Academy near Quantico in Stafford County, Virginia.

Her journey to the FBI Academy spanned several years.

“I was nominated in 2015. It’s kind of a process where you get nominated and you just wait,” she said. “I waited and I got a letter from the FBI National Academy, and they told me hey, you’re slotted to go in October of 2020. So I was excited about that. Well, we all know what happened in 2020 and it gets pushed back.

So it’s at that point, it’s at the back of my mind. I’m no spring chicken. It’s gonna be difficult, but I can do it,” she added. “And at the beginning of 2022, I was finally notified that I’d be going in July. So that’s kind of how that happened. I’ve been waiting seven years to go.”

Gremillion started her career with APSO in 1998 as a 911 dispatcher. In her current position as the Deputy Chief of Administration, Gremillion is responsible for agency-wide projects including policy, accreditation, research and training.

The Donaldsonville native graduated from LSU’s basic training academy in 2002 and earned a master’s degree in criminal justice in 2010. The Knights of Columbus named her Deputy of the Year in 2015.

“It’s an honor because we’ve worked together for so many years,” said Ascension Parish Sheriff Bobby Webre. “We’ve watched each other’s careers progress. You may remember, she is the lady who led us into our accreditation the last three years. She is a supervisor and a great leader in our department. She’s led many firsts for us now including the first time a female has graduated from the FBI academy from the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office.

It is a historical moment,” Webre added. “I’m very honored that she was first, accepted into the academy because it’s such a challenge being accepted and second, to see her graduate.”

The FBI national academy has been around since the 1930s. It’s a school where you can earn 17 hours of college-like credit.

Gremillion viewed the 10-week experience on the Quantico campus as similar to college.

“It’s like a semester of college with the mixture of the police academy,” she said. “A lot of the courses that we took are all college courses through the University of Virginia. We took six classes during the 10-week period. It was just a lot of either physical fitness, academic rigor, just different levels of being immersed in this leadership world. Law enforcement, education, physical fitness, wellness, all of those things.”

Webre said Gremillion ran APSO’s 911 dispatch center through some of the most devastating times.

“She is someone you want to build your department around,” Webre said. “You want to build your department around people like Laura Gremillion.”

Adding another first to her career resume is something Gremillion doesn’t take lightly.

“It really means a lot. We have tremendous successful, strong, just impressive female leaders in this agency,” she said. “And if me getting accepted at this academy and being successful at it helps them be able to to attend one day or other trainings or other opportunities that they have, that’s all I can hope for. I hope that seeing me accomplish this will help them see that they can accomplish whatever they want to and that they have the ability to do the job to be successful and to be successful in their sphere.”

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