Montana Law Enforcement Academy Graduates 59 New Officers
At a ceremony this morning in Helena, the Montana Law Enforcement Academy (MLEA) graduated 59 new officers who will serve 33 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.
“Ever since 9/11, our lives have changed. What was once a tranquil, peaceful landscape in our country, is no more,” said keynote speaker Bryan Lockerby, administrator of DOJ’s Division of Criminal Investigation. “Terms like ‘active shooter,’ ‘lone wolf,’ and ‘mass shooting’ have become commonplace terms on the news and in our daily conversation. We are in a heightened state of vigilance, and have to rely on the public safety community even more as these critical events unfold. I am glad all of you are here with us today, supporting this graduating group of young men and women who have made a decision to join the ranks of public safety professionals, and who may someday be asked to face the same situations that law enforcement in Florida had to face.”
Graduate Alex Hibbert of the Glendive Police Department was elected by the class to speak on its behalf during the ceremony. Officer Hibbert said, “Every year, 50,000 to 60,000 police officers are assaulted; on average, 144 officers are killed. Becoming a police officer is not a job you take simply because you need to pay rent. It’s a passion and a lifestyle. For me, it has been the only job I’ve ever wanted, and I’m sure many of my classmates would tell you the same.”
Several of the graduates received awards for their performance during training:
• Alex Hibbert 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.
• Brenton Beard 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.
• Tyler Brant 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.
• Brady Gray 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.
• Brady Gray 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.
• Christian Charette-Haynes 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.
• Scott Rasmussen 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.
• Christian Charette-Haynes 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.
• Kevin Fox 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.
• Amanda Perry 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.
• Jonathan Martin 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 #159:
Malkovich, Kyle Beaverhead County Sheriff’s Office
Henderson, Terry Big Horn County Sheriff’s Office
Bear Medicine, Dewey Blackfeet Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Hall, Glenn Blackfeet Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Theriault, Cody Boulder Police Department
Foley, Connor Bozeman Police Department
Martin, Jonathan Bozeman Police Department
Cordova, Tony Broadwater County Sheriff’s Office
Fredregill, Tony Cascade County Sheriff’s Office
Olson, Brandon Chinook Police Department
Echols, Jeremy Chouteau County Sheriff’s Office
Rides Horse, Bethany Crow Land Security
Perrault, Kevin Deer Lodge Police Department
Fox, Kevin Flathead County Sheriff’s Office
Perry, Mandy Flathead County Sheriff’s Office
Rehbein, David Flathead County Sheriff’s Office
Charette-Haynes, Christian Flathead Tribal Police
Kirkaldie, Trent Fort Belknap Law Enforcement
Brugh, Gregory Fort Peck Tribes Law & Justice
Doney, Paul Fort Peck Tribes Law & Justice
Grey Bear, Raiven Fort Peck Tribes Law & Justice
Taylor, Brian Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office
Hibbert, Alex Glendive Police Department
Fleming, Will Great Falls Police Department
Irish, Cody Great Falls Police Department
Chagnon, Joshua Havre Police Department
Bergh, Britney Helena Police Department
Gray, Brady Helena Police Department
Koester, Eric Helena Police Department
Beard, Brenton Hill County Sheriff’s Office
Clary, Chris Lake County Sheriff’s Office
Allard, Michah Mineral County Sheriff’s Office
Hettman, Christine Missoula County Sheriff’s Office
Rasmussen, Scott Missoula County Sheriff’s Office
Sunderland, Mike Missoula County Sheriff’s Office
VonGontard, Paul Missoula County Sheriff’s Office
Gacke, Robert Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks
Marsh, Austin Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks
Mattson, Alex Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks
McNamara, James Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks
Mitchell, Skyler Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks
Brant, Tyler Montana Highway Patrol
Dockter, Matthew Montana Highway Patrol
Erickson, Matt Montana Highway Patrol
Fletcher, James Montana Highway Patrol
Hass, Charles Montana Highway Patrol
Hiday, Alexander Montana Highway Patrol
Kucerovy, Timothy Montana Highway Patrol
O’Connor, Michael Montana Highway Patrol
Raymond, Jon Montana Highway Patrol
Rhodes, Jack Montana Highway Patrol
Sutherland, Griffin Montana Highway Patrol
Allison, Thomas Motor Carrier Services
Kominek, Keith Motor Carrier Services
Warner, Gregory Motor Carrier Services
Perry, Blaine Powder River County Sheriff’s Office
Selmo, Cole Sidney Police Department
Moles, Sharon Stevensville Police Department
Kramer, Randy Toole County Sheriff’s Office