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Montana Law Enforcement Academy Graduates 47 New Officers

At a ceremony in Helena this morning, the Montana Law Enforcement Academy graduated 47 new officers who will serve 28 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.

“Each of you has been called to protect and to serve, and such a calling places a high and difficult burden on you as professionals, and as members of your communities,” Attorney General Tim Fox told the graduates. “I wish that I could tell you that it will be smooth sailing from here on, but you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t yearn for challenge and if you didn’t welcome the challenges ahead.”

The class elected Gallatin County Deputy Matthew Porter to speak on its behalf during the ceremony. “Through this training we have all grown, developed, and bonded,” he said. “Through these bonds, we have created a network and joined a family of law enforcement. Leave here knowing you can reach out to get help or support. Take your personal strengths and life experiences, continue to build those skills and abilities, and use them to help or teach others.”

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

 Gallatin County Deputy Matthew Porter 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.

 Fish, Wildlife and Parks Game Warden Tyler Ramaker received the Health and Physical Fitness Award, which is given to the officer 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.

 Pondera County Deputy Andy Lund also 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 his display of unwavering dedication and determination. The award is given in memory of the late Chouteau County Sheriff Paul Williams.

 Hamilton Police Officer Clayton Moore 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.

 Missoula Police Officer Ross Colyer 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.

 Missoula County Deputy Joshua Johnston 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 honor of Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Glenn Janes, who served as a driving instructor at the Montana Law Enforcement Academy.

 Kalispell Police Officer Ronald Clackler received the Jimmy Kaaro award, which is given to the officer who achieves the highest level of academic standing in each class. Case has an overall average of 98.49% on all academic course work. The award is given in honor of retired Fergus County Sheriff Jimmy Kaaro.

 Granite County Deputy James Russell 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.

 Fish, Wildlife and Parks Game Warden Tyler Ramaker 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.

 Flathead County Deputy Mark Askvig 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.

 Manhattan Police Officer Brian Angulo 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 honor of Missoula County Sheriff Deputy Allen Kimery, who was killed in the line of duty in 1984.

Roster of class #152:

Johnson, Brandon Billings Police Department
Richter, Jeffrey Billings Police Department
Beemer, Jim Blaine County Sheriff’s Office
Ritterbach, Thomas Blaine County Sheriff’s Office
Collinson, Renee Boulder Police Department
Hale, Dennis Chouteau County Sheriff’s Office
Stratton, Seth Columbia Falls Police Department
Lucas, Kyle Conrad Police Department
Eastman, Geoffrey Crow Tribal Police
Balis, Brad Fish, Wildlife and Parks
Morin, Phillip Ben Fish, Wildlife and Parks
Ramaker, Tyler Fish, Wildlife and Parks
Winters, Tegan Fish, Wildlife and Parks
Askvig, Mark Flathead County Sheriff’s Office
Ellis, Titus Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office
Porter, Matthew Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office
Gramm, Joel Glendive Police Department
Russell, James Granite County Sheriff’s Office
Moore, Clayton Hamilton Police Department
Renshaw, Steve Helena Police Department
Strange, Marcus Helena Police Department
Mercer, Scott Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office
Clackler, Ronald Kalispell Police Department
Angulo, Brian Manhattan Police Department
Johnston, Joshua Missoula County Sheriff’s Office
Colyer, Ross Missoula Police Department
Branam, Ryland Motor Carrier Services
Gull, Derek Motor Carrier Services
Kinsey, Michael Motor Carrier Services
Caye, Christine Motor Carrier Services
Hefflin, Sean Motor Carrier Services
Loewen, Jon Motor Carrier Services
Meadows, Justin Motor Carrier Services
Williams, Joshua Motor Carrier Services
Miller, Eric Motor Carrier Services
Wheatcroft, Anthony Motor Carrier Services
Barker, Caitlin MSU Police Department
Harvey, Ethan Plains Police Department
Lund, Andy Pondera County Sheriff’s Office
Heavrin, Wesley Pre-Service
Garcia, James Ronan Police Department
Busch, Elizabeth Rosebud County Sheriff’s Office
Thornhill, Robert Thompson Falls Police Department
Wootan, Brandon Toole County Sheriff’s Office
Greydanus, Andrew Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office
Harris, Aaron Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office
Burke, Gary Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office