Overall, Keith Grounsell has two decades of law enforcement experience working at the city, county, state, federal and international levels. In addition to his diverse law enforcement background, Grounsell graduated with honors from American Military University where he obtained a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice. For his undergraduate studies, Grounsell attended Lander University on an athletic scholarship and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sociology with an Emphasis in Criminal Justice. He excelled by graduating #2 in his class during police executive level training through the Southern Police Institutes 10-Week/400 hour Command Officers Development Course (74th Session). He is also a graduated with honors from the 16-week/600 hour Drug Enforcement Administration [DEA] Basic Agent Training Academy No. 169 and has completed more than 3,000 hours of specialized law enforcement training.
For more than a year, Grounsell has been the United States Contingent Commander over all U.S. Police Advisors in Haiti. In addition, he served as the Coordinator, Lead Training Officer and SWAT Specialist within the Formed Police Unit (FPU)/SWAT Headquarters in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, working for the United Nations on an International Narcotics & Law Enforcement/Department of State Contract. In this position, he has been responsible for the management, coordination, training and operational supervision of up to 1,650 United Nations Police Officers from 11 foreign contingents. This unit was primarily focused in the areas of public order/crowd control, Quick Reaction Forces (QRF), security for high risk motor vehicle convoys, special operations and personal security for the local population, VIP’s, UN Police Officers, non-government agencies (i.e. World Food Program, World Vision…etc.) and many others. In this position, Keith Grounsell has been responsible for the successful coordination of more than 500 convoys, joint patrols and other special security operations (i.e. the successful presidential election in February of 2017). After eleven months on the job, Grounsell was assigned to be the personal mentor/advisor to the national SWAT Commander for Haiti. Grounsell mentored him in all aspects of running a national SWAT team, to include but not limited to budget administration, short/long term planning, training, policies, procedures, liability, operations, recruiting, hiring, retention, succession, physical fitness…etc.
In his previous position as Chief of Police, Grounsell commanded all aspects of the Simpsonville Police Department. As Chief of Police, he focused on community relations through a department wide implementation of a modern style of community oriented policing. His main goals were to serve the good people of Simpsonville and keep them safe by taking an aggressive approach to going after drug/narcotics traffickers, corruption and other vice crimes. As Chief of Police he created and/or took part in more than 40 community based/special programs, increased drug arrest/drug crimes detected by more than 280% and took the city of Simpsonville from the #28 Safest City in the state of SC to the #1 Safest City in the state of SC.
Prior to becoming Police Chief in Simpsonville, he was the Personal/Lead Investigator to the Solicitor with the 13th Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office. This is the largest solicitor’s office in the state of SC, covering both Greenville & Pickens Counties. In this position he served as the liaison for the Solicitor’s Office to all municipal, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies.
From 2007 thru 2009, Grounsell was in Kabul and Jalalabad, Afghanistan working as a supervisor over three (3) national police programs: the Afghan National Civil Order Police [ANCOP], Focus District Development [FDD] and In-District Reform [IDR]. The ANCOP program is the Special Forces unit of the Afghan National Police [ANP] force consisting of five thousand (5,000) police officers, which make up the countries elite Special Weapons and Tactics [SWAT] and Riot teams. The FDD program focuses on rebuilding police departments and district police headquarters from the ground up across the nation, specifically those located off of the main trade route (known as “ring road”) in Afghanistan. Under Grounsell’s command the FDD program was involved in the rebuilding, reformation and training of over forty (40) District Police Departments consisting of over ten-thousand (10,000) police officers across the nation of Afghanistan. Under the IDR program Grounsell and his men were responsible for the rebuilding, reformation & training of ten (10) District Police Departments consisting of over two-thousand (2,000) police officers in the most dangerous & hostile districts of Afghanistan. These tasks was completed working alongside of, or embedded with, members of the United States Marine Corp., Army, Navy and Air Force. As the National Supervisor over ANCOP, FDD and IDR, Grounsell was responsible for a staff of over one-hundred and forty (140) U.S. police advisors, mentors and trainers, in addition to a staff of up to eighty (80) foreign national personnel (i.e. translators/interpreters).
In June of 2005, Grounsell joined the DEA and received the covenanted title of Special Agent (GS-1811). After graduating with honors from the DEA Academy (i.e. Maintaining high academic standards and receiving 2 out of 4 overall class awards during the graduating ceremony), he was assigned to the Garden City, KS Resident Office, which was under the Kansas City District Office and the St. Louis Field Division. At this location he was successful in writing lengthy search warrant affidavits, working undercover and successfully prosecuting a large scale Federal Wire-Tap (T-III) investigation, which was one of the first in the history of Western Kansas. Grounsell was also a co-founder and commander of the Ghost Soldier Task Force, which combated against violent gang members and their drug trafficking activities in thirty-six (36) counties across western Kansas. After two (2) years with the DEA he decided to broaden his horizon and take a Department of State contract position in Afghanistan.
His first job in law enforcement was with the Mauldin Police Department. Grounsell has also worked for the Greenville Police Department, Greenville County Sheriff’s Office, and SC Dept. of Juvenile Justice. In these agencies he was able to chalk up a long list of more than thirty (30) commendations, accolades and medals. Within these departments he held positions ranging from Police Officer to Narcotics Investigator and became a state and nationally certified Instructor.
Grounsell has extensive experience in the following areas: Police Command/Leadership, Investigations (Vice, Narcotics, Gangs, Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Homicide…etc.), Bicycle Patrol, High Risk Narcotics Entry Team/SWAT, Public Order Management, Community Oriented Policing, Field Training Officer and much more. Most of Grounsell’s career prior to becoming an administrator/commander was focused around drug, gang, human trafficking and Vice investigations. He specialized in undercover work and spent six (6) years working undercover operations. Grounsell has a vast level of undercover experience and has personally worked in the following types of undercover operations: purchasing drugs/narcotics, buying automatic weapons, murder for hire, illegal gambling operations, prostitution stings/human trafficking…etc. Grounsell has been certified as an “expert witness” and testified in Drug/Narcotics cases for the prosecution in both Federal and State courts. Grounsell has also been an Instructor that was paid to teach police officers from around the nation the proper techniques in how to work undercover and manage large scale operations.
Grounsell has a lifelong commitment to public safety and is a published author who has received an award from the SC Associated Press for his drug education articles, which were classified as a Public Relations Campaign. He has also served on several boards and is heavily involved in volunteer work in the community.
Grounsell has been happily married for 14 years to Romesa “Reese” Grounsell and they have three beautiful children together (13 Kaleb, 10 Noah & 8 McKenna). They recently received custody of an infant, named Hunter, who was born addicted to drugs. They have made him a part of their family and hope to formally adopt him one day, if that is in God’s plans for them. In his spare time, Grounsell enjoys exercising (i.e. lifting weights & running), mentoring others and spending time doing outdoor activities with his family.