Montana Law Enforcement Academy Graduates 58 New Officers
At a ceremony this morning, the Montana Law Enforcement Academy (MLEA) graduated 58 new officers who will serve 30 different agencies across the state. The Montana Law Enforcement Academy is operated by the Montana Department of Justice (DOJ), providing basic and advanced training for state, county, city and tribal law enforcement officers throughout the state.
DOJ’s Division of Criminal Investigation Administrator Bryan Lockerby addressed the graduates, stressing the importance of teamwork, humility, and character. Lockerby said, “We develop our ethics, our character, as we grow up. It’s like the root system on a tree. The roots are your character and integrity, but what is above ground is your personality. Character, ethics, and the appropriate use of discretion will help you navigate through life, no matter what profession you choose.”
Keifer Lewis of the Prairie County Sheriff’s Office was elected by the class to speak on its behalf during the ceremony. Lewis said, “We all have received some outstanding training and knowledge here at the academy, but do not let the learning stop. Strive to become better, strive to become smarter, strive to become stronger. Good enough never is – always keep that in mind, and come home safe.”
Several of the graduates received awards for their performance during training:
- Keifer Lewis 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.
- Andrew Mohr 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.
- Andy Upton 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.
- Lane Diercks 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.
- Lane Diercks also 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.
- Austin Wells 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.
- Ben Gleason 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.
- Brandon Couture 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.
- Andrew Mohr 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.
- Jennifer Johnson 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.
- Chance Hildebrand 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.
Class #158 roster:
Carney, Anthony – Billings Police Department
Diercks, Lane – Billings Police Department
Donovan, Ryan – Billings Police Department
Freeman, Michael – Billings Police Department
Kirkpatrick, Colt – Billings Police Department
Schara, Nathan – Billings Police Department
Soucy, Timothy – Billings Police Department
Johnson, Jennifer – Bozeman Police Department
Magurn, Francis – Bozeman Police Department
Ellingson, Bryan – Butte-Silver Bow Law Enforcement
Fortune, Mike – Butte-Silver Bow Law Enforcement
Hanley, Jake – Butte-Silver Bow Law Enforcement
Krause, Michael – Cascade County Sheriff’s Office
Schmidt, Michael Chinook Police Department
Belcourt, Jalin – Chippewa Cree Tribal Justice Center
Stump, Ryley – Chippewa Cree Tribal Justice Center
Munkres, Brett – Choteau County Sheriff’s Office
Couture, Brandon – Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes Fish & Game
Wells, Austin – Columbus Police Department
Arnold, Jonathan – Cut Bank Police Department
Moore, John – Ennis Police Department
Kiewatt, Steve – Department of Livestock
Fawell, Timothy – Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Gleason, Ben – Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Langel, Connor – Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Mohr, Andrew – Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Murphy, Brady – Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Neu, Christopher – Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Phillips, Zachary – Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Olson, Jesse – Flathead County Sheriff’s Office
Upton, Andy Flathead County Sheriff’s Office
Damon, Mychal – Ft. Peck Tribes Law & Justice
Tate, Joe – Garfield County Sheriff’s Office
Peters, Steven – Granite County Sheriff’s Office
Turner, Justin – Kalispell Police Department
Williams, Daniel – Kalispell Police Department
Anglin, Jarred – Laurel Police Department
Borske, John – Lewis & Clark County Sheriff’s Office
Eidt, Samuel – Lewis & Clark County Sheriff’s Office
Hildebrand, Chance – Livingston Police Department
Sullivan, Patrick – Livingston Police Department
Juliano, Joseph – McCone County Sheriff’s Office
Bigelow, Casey – Miles City Police Department
Fetty, Chris – Miles City Police Department
Swearingin, David – Missoula County Sheriff’s Office
Burger, Joseph – Missoula Police Department
Hess, Lydia – Missoula Police Department
Altmiller, Jason – Motor Carrier Services
Brennan, Melissa – Motor Carrier Services
Knopp, Michelle – Motor Carrier Services
Miner, Mandy – Motor Carrier Services
Sennett, Tyler – Motor Carrier Services
Wilson, Tyler – Musselshell County Sheriff’s Office
Lewis, Keifer – Prarie County Sheriff’s Office
Goodwin, Daniel – Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office
Van Leeuwen, Sabrah – West Yellowstone Police Department
Nelson, Ryland – Pre-Service
West, David – Pre-Service