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Gretchen Fretter

Gretchen Fretter received her first Master's Degree from the Trainers of Teacher Trainers Program at the University of Pittsburgh. She received her B.A. and her Standard Secondary Teaching Credential at UC Berkeley. She taught French, a skill acquired from her childhood and college years studying in Paris and in Grenoble.

Gretchen's father, a professor of Physics at Cal and her other mentor, August Vollmer an early professor of Criminology at Cal, Chief of Police in Berkeley and inventor/collaborator on the polygraph machine were formative in her decision to enter the East Bay Regional Police Department.

She graduated with honors from the Police Academy and served as Patrol Officer, Sergeant, Acting Lieutenant and Homicide Detective prior to taking the position as Police Academy Manager at the Contra Costa Regional Training Center at Los Medanos College. She received her second Master's Degree in Public Administration in 1991. She was named Director of the Training Center responsible for not only the Police Academy but all of the Advanced Officer courses, the Paramedic Academy, Fire Academy, EMT and an extensive curriculum of the college level courses associated with law enforcement, fire and pre-hospital care.

Gretchen met Paul Ekman when she hosted the Analytic Interviewing course that Paul Ekman and JJ Newberry created for advanced interviewing training. She continued her training and teaching with Paul Ekman after she retired from the Training Center. She teaches for the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department and the South Bay Regional Training Center. Gretchen team taught with Sue Oliviera and Mark Peterson to deliver one of the first Emotions Revealed courses in Pacific Grove.

Gretchen lives in the California foothills. She raises grass-fed beef on her ranch, serves in the El Dorado County Mounted Search and Rescue Unit and enjoys a new endeavor in Real Estate helping people find the wonderful style of life she knows.


  • "Your analytical interview techniques and instruction are an important part of our training and truly demonstrate the value of your curriculum. Some of the students remarked that it was the best interview training they have attended." - A.J. Carrol, Asst. Chief Golden Gate Division, California Highway Patrol
  • "Enhanced the field agent's ability to recognize areas we should pursue when assessing the validity of individuals and information." - NCIX
  • "I want to take opportunity to thank you and your staff for the training you recently provided to this Agency's Security Protective Officers and the attendees from law enforcement agencies in the Washington Metropolitan Area. The Institute's interview/ interrogation methodologies, combines with academic research presented by Dr. Mark Frank, and incorporated practical exercises were universally well received by the class participants."- James Kirkman, Chief Protective Programs Group, CIA

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Courses Available

  • Analytic Interviewing
  • Rapport & Control
  • The Cognitive Interview
  • Forensic Questioning
  • PEACE Model
  • Language and Listening
  • Personality Disorders & Interviewing

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