MLEA Graduates 45 New Officers

At a ceremony this morning in Helena, the Montana Law Enforcement Academy graduated 45 new officers who will serve 24 different agencies across the state. The Montana Law Enforcement Academy is operated by the Montana Department of Justice, providing basic and advanced training for state, county, city and tribal law enforcement officers throughout the state.

“While the tools and technologies available to officers have changed over the years, the real heart and soul of law enforcement has remained the same. And what it boils down to is really caring about people. It’s an intrinsic part of public service,” Attorney General Tim Fox told the graduates. “And while you learned a great many things at the academy, this is a quality that your parents instilled in you as you grew up, something you’ll carry with you during your off-duty hours and well into your retirement years.”

The class elected Christopher Davis to speak on its behalf during the ceremony. Davis said, “There’s a tremendous amount of responsibility placed on peace officers today. I speak for everyone in our class when I say that we recognize the amount of trust you have placed in us and we will do our utmost to honor that trust.”

Several of the graduates received awards for their performance during training:

Christopher Davis received the Don Williams Award, which is given to the officer elected by the class as Class Representative. The award is given in memory of Thompson Falls Police Chief Don Williams, who was killed in the line of duty in 1974.

Derek Dyk and Elizabeth Samson received the Health and Physical Fitness Award, which is given to the officer(s) in each class who participates and excels in the Hard Rock Challenge and achieves the class’s best score in the Montana Physical Abilities Test.

Jonathan Marshall received the Paul Williams Award, which is given to the officer in each class who has provided great inspiration to the staff and student through a display of unwavering dedication and determination. The award is given in memory of the late Chouteau County Sheriff Paul Williams.

Derek Dyk also received the Jack Wiseman Award, which is given to the officer in each class who is selected by his peers as the most outstanding officer. The officers of each class select the recipient by pondering two questions: 1) if you were a law enforcement agency administrator, who would you most want to hire? 2) if it were 2am and things were going bad quickly, who would you most want to know was coming to help you? The award is given in tribute to Jack Wiseman, who served as a training officer and commander at the Montana Law Enforcement Academy for more than 22 years.

Andrew Matakis received the Joe May Award, which is given to the office in each class who displays exceptional leadership and an incredible sense of motivation. The award is given in honor of the late Joe May, one of the people credited with the conception and creation of the Montana Law Enforcement Academy.

Arin Herndon received the Glenn Janes Award, which is given to the student in each class who demonstrates the highest level of proficiency in the Police Vehicle Operation Course. The award is given in memory of the late Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Glenn Janes, who served as a driving instructor at the Montana Law Enforcement Academy.

Christopher Davis also received the Jimmy Kaaro award, which is given to the officer who achieves the highest level of academic standing in each class. The award is given in honor of retired Fergus County Sheriff Jimmy Kaaro.

Arin Herndon also received the Josh Rutherford Award, which is given to the officer in each class who achieves the highest scores in defensive tactics. The award is given in memory of Blaine County Deputy Sheriff Josh Rutherford, who was a defensive tactics instructor with the Montana Law Enforcement Academy when he lost his life in the line of duty in 2003.

Derek Dyk also received the Alex Mavity Award, which is given to the student from each class who achieves the highest accumulated score on all academic and skills-based training. The award is given in honor of Billings Police Department Detective Alex Mavity, who was killed in the line of duty in 1989.

Katherine Trewick received the Hal Vogelsang Award, which is given to the officer in each class who displays the highest degree of fidelity as determined by the academy staff. The recipient has demonstrated exceptional qualities of honor, pride, integrity, duty, loyalty, and service to not only the class but the staff and entire profession. The award is given in honor of Hal Vogelsang, who served as an FBI special agent for more than 36 years and as a training officer at the Montana Law Enforcement Academy for more than 25 years.

Derek Dyk also received the Allen Kimery Award, which is given in recognition of outstanding marksmanship and the class’s highest ranking in firearms training through marksmanship, safety, and tactical proficiency. The award is given in memory of Missoula County Sheriff Deputy Allen Kimery, who was killed in the line of duty in 1984.

Roster of Class #156:

Beechie, Michael Billings Police Department
Solorio, Jairo Billings Police Department
Wildin, Chad Billings Police Department
Running Wolf, Ryan Blackfeet Law Enforcement
Canzona, Joe Boulder Police Department
Beard, Thomas Bozeman Police Department
Davis, Christopher Bozeman Police Department
Dyk, Derek Bozeman Police Department
Voegel, Robert Cascade County Sheriff’s Office
Johnson, Jeremiah Fergus County Sheriff’s Office
Fornshell, Ethan Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Matakis, Andrew Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Booth, Michael Ft. Peck Tribes Law & Justice
Dupree, Jestin Ft. Peck Tribes Law & Justice
Franke, Eric Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office
Samson, Elizabeth Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office
Lahr, Neil Glacier County Sheriff’s Office
Marshall, Jon Great Falls Police Department
Meek, James Great Falls Police Department
Rosteck, Jesse Great Falls Police Department
Schwittay, Mark Hot Springs Police Department
Herndon, Arin Lewis & Clark County Sheriff’s Office
Allard, Andrew Mineral County Sheriff’s Office
Beck, James Montana Highway Patrol
Buchanan-Frost, Michelle Montana Highway Patrol
Fox, Brianna Montana Highway Patrol
Dillon, Travis Montana Highway Patrol
Kelm, Brandon Montana Highway Patrol
Metcalfe, John Montana Highway Patrol
Neils, Grigori Montana Highway Patrol
Nordell, Dylan Montana Highway Patrol
Swartz, Tyler Montana Highway Patrol
Trewick, Katherine Montana Highway Patrol
Christoffersen, Matthew Motor Carrier Services
Myers, Nico Phillips County Sheriff’s Office
Rafiu, Hazeez Polson Police Department
White, David Richland County Sheriff’s Office
Sheridan, Trevor Ronan Police Department
Bain, Jakson Rosebud County Sheriff’s Office
Sauvageau, Justin Rosebud County Sheriff’s Office
Dean, Shane Teton County Sheriff’s Office
Lubke, Sara Toole County Sheriff’s Office
Sweet, Glen Wheatland County Sheriff’s Office
Kelso, Michael Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office
Lovell, Franklin Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office

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