Montana Law Enforcement Academy Graduates 49 New Officers

At a ceremony this morning, the Montana Law Enforcement Academy (MLEA) graduated 49 new officers who will serve various 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.

The ceremony took place at the Radisson Hotel in Helena, and included remarks from Montana Attorney General Tim Fox, MLEA Administrator Glen Stinar, and the Class Representative for the 162nd  graduating class, Nathaniel Webb of the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox addressed the graduates, commending their service to others through careers in law enforcement.  “It seems not a day goes by when the law enforcement profession is not under assault in the national news or on social media,” Attorney General Fox said.  “We are blessed to live in a state where our communities appreciate our law enforcement officers.  The men and women who risk their lives to serve our neighbors every day need to know that we support them.  Their families need those reminders, too.”

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

• Nathaniel J. Webb 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.

• Jess M. Patrick 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.

• Wayne R. Bieber 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.

• Jess M. Patrick 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 2:00 am 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.

• Emily G. Hachenberger 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.

• Cody A. Doyle 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.

• Nathaniel J. Webb 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.

• Aaron Sutton 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.

• Jess M. Patrick 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.

• Justin D. Slobuszewski 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.

• John W. Spurgeon 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.

The roster of Class #162 is available here.

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