Montana Department of Justice
Home / Press Release / Montana Law Enforcement Academy Graduates 47 New Officers
March 28, 2014

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

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Attorney General's Office & Legal Services Division

The Attorney General’s Office, headed by Attorney General Tim Fox, and the Legal Services Division function as the lawyers for the State of Montana. The attorneys in the Office have expertise in a wide range of legal topics and handle a broad range of legal cases involving the State of Montana and its people.

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Children’s Justice Bureau

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Missing Persons Clearinghouse

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Office of Victim Services

The goal of the Office of Victim Services is to provide tools and information to help crime victims recover from their experience and provide them with a range of services available. The criminal justice system can be confusing and intimidating for victims. To assist them as they go through the justice system, the Office of Victim Service is available to answer any questions they may have.

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Central Services Division

The Montana Department of Justice’s Central Services Division provides financial and human resources support for the department. We make sure that everything works for the people Working for Justice. If you’re interested in a rewarding career helping protect the rights and safety of all Montanans, we invite you to join our team of over 800 dedicated employees working across the state.

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Justice Information Technology Services Division

Our Justice Information Technology Services Division (JITSD) provides vital Information Technology (IT) infrastructure upon which Montanans and lojitsdcal and state law enforcement agencies rely for timely, accurate information. JITSD manages the IT systems, services, and interfaces to support nearly 800 DOJ employees, 325 statewide county motor vehicle system users, and over 3,000 Criminal Justice Information Network (CJIN) users across the state.

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Motor Vehicle Division

The mission of the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) is to identify and promote efficient, cost-effective programs that benefit the interests, safety, and well-being of Montana citizens through licensing, registering, and regulating the motoring activities of the public. The MVD continuously strives for excellence in customer service. Streamlining the way we do business has allowed us to improve our efficiency and make our services more convenient for our customers.

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Natural Resource Damage Program

The Natural Resource Damage Program (NRDP) was created in 1990 to prepare the state’s lawsuit against the Atlantic Richfield Co. (ARCO) for injuries to the natural resources in the Upper Clark Fork River Basin (UCFRB). Decades of mining and mineral processing operations in and around Butte and Anaconda released substantial quantities of hazardous substances into the Upper Clark Fork River Basin between Butte and Milltown. These hazardous substances extensively degraded the area’s natural resources.

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Division of Criminal Investigation

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Office of Consumer Protection

Enforce consumer laws designed to protect the consumer from unfair or deceptive business practices. Enforce statutes relating to telephone solicitation and telemarketing. Provide information to consumers about the Consumer Protection Act. Assist consumers by distributing consumer education materials including scam and consumer alerts. Investigate false, misleading, or deceptive trade practices.

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Montana Highway Patrol

Montana is rich in natural beauty and history. From Glacier Park in the west to Makoshika Park in the east, the men and women of the Montana Highway Patrol are working hard to make your travels safe and enjoyable. The Highway Patrol’s core values are “Service, Integrity and Respect.” These values are reflected in our commitment to public safety through diligent and fair enforcement of our traffic codes.

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Montana Law Enforcement Academy

The Montana Law Enforcement Academy is the premier law enforcement and public safety educational and training institution for state, county, city and tribal officers throughout the state. The Academy offers entry-level programs referred to as Basic Programs and advanced training through an array of Professional Development Programs.

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Human Trafficking

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Public Safety Officer Standards & Training

The Council was formed in 2007 under 2-15-2029, MCA as an independent Quasi-judicial board. And as allowed by statute the Council adopted Administrative Rules in order to implement the provisions of Title 44, chapter 4, part 4, MCA. Per 44-4-403, MCA the Council is required to set employment and training standards for all Public Safety Officers as defined in 44-4-401, MCA and in addition the Council shall provide for the certification or recertification of public safety officers and for the suspension or revocation of certification of public safety officers.

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Safe in Your Space

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Gambling Control Division

Through the Gambling Control Division, the Department of Justice regulates all forms of gambling in Montana, except for the Montana Lottery and horse racing. The legislature has charged the division with maintaining a uniform regulatory climate that is fair and free of corrupt influences. The division is also responsible for collecting gambling revenue for state and local governments.

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Montana Sexual or Violent Offender Registry

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Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness Program

Montana’s deadliest drugs aren’t made in secret labs and they don’t always come from dealers on the corner. They’re in our own medicine cabinets. Each year, prescription drug abuse contributes to the deaths of more than 300 Montanans — making prescription drug abuse 15 times more deadly than meth, heroin and cocaine combined. Our kids report the third-highest rate of prescription drug abuse in the country and more than half of them say prescription drugs are easier to get than street drugs.

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Montana 24/7 Sobriety Program

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Work for Justice

Everyday at The Montana Department of Justice, our employees are dedicated to ensuring the well-being and rights of the people of our great state. We’re passionate about what we do because it’s more than a job or a career. It’s about who we are as people. If this sounds like you, your unique experiences, knowledge, and values may be just what the Montana Department of Justice is looking for and needs. In return we can offer a culture that promotes fairness and growth opportunities.

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