David Grant’s career started at sheriff’s department

By Don Chaddock, Inside CDCR editor

After 40 years of public service, David Grant is looking forward to retirement.

Grant, the Deputy Director for the Office of Internal Affairs (OIA), started his career in 1976 when he attended the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department academy.

“Law enforcement service at both the local and state level has been an incredible experience that will sustain me as I move on in life,” he wrote in an email to colleagues announcing his retirement plans.

He took over OIA in 2008, replacing Assistant Secretary Martin Hoshino.

“I have completely and thoroughly enjoyed my professional life, from patrolling Sacramento’s streets, to walking the tiers of the county jail, training new recruits, and managing police efforts and programs in three very different law enforcement agencies,” he wrote. “I believe that law enforcement Internal Affairs units provide the public with the knowledge and assurance that those who wear the badge and protect the public are acting appropriately and professionally. That public trust is invaluable, especially in today’s society.”

According to Grant, between local and state public service, he has worked under four elected sheriffs, one inspector general, five secretaries and two governors.

Inside CDCR caught up with Deputy Director Grant to get his thoughts on the changes he’s seen over four decades of public service.

What is your fondest memory of working at CDCR?

“Developing relationships with people from so many backgrounds both inside and outside CDCR. OIA staff have such varied experiences and the  personalities and teamwork is why I stayed so long.”

What is the biggest change you’ve seen during your time in the department?

“In 2003, OIA was a relatively unknown program in the department and was isolated, secretive, and had a reputation of seeking out investigations against staff. We turned that around by including appropriate management staff in the Madrid reforms, communicating our mission of serving the department when needed, and trying to take the mystery out of Internal Affairs.”

What is the biggest change you’ve seen in law enforcement during your 40-year career?

“Training and technology has changed the face of law enforcement. Peace Officer Standards and Training, known as POST, and other advanced training programs have professionalized law enforcement and technology has made great strides in solving crime and provided tools to make the job safer.”

What do you think is a common misconception by the public of the role of internal investigators? How is it different from reality?

“Internal Affairs investigators are just like other cops in that they interview people, collect evidence, write reports and move on to the next case. There is no animosity toward staff, just a desire to do a good job in collecting facts so the correct resolution occurs.”

Of which achievement are you most proud from your years of public service?

“I really have two law enforcement lives. At the local level, I was able to help everyday people who were generally a victim of crime or other unfortunate circumstances. At the state level, not only helping to develop the Madrid reforms but keeping them intact for over a decade, was the most challenging but also the most rewarding achievement.”

(Editor’s note: In 2011, CDCR issued a press release regarding the Madrid reforms. Read it here.)