The Montana Law Enforcement Academy (MLEA) in Helena graduated 58 new officers on Thursday who will serve various agencies across the state. The MLEA, operated by the Montana Department of Justice, provides basic and advanced training for state, county, city, and tribal law enforcement officers throughout the state.
The ceremony at the Civic Center included remarks from MLEA administrator Glen Stinar and class representative Deputy John Nolan of the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office. Montana Supreme Court Justice James Shea administered the oath of office, according to a press release from the MT DOJ.
In addressing the class, Stinar emphasized the importance of resiliency, vision, and communication for law enforcement officers. Stinar said, “Resiliency is the most important gift you can give yourself. It’s more than the ability to withstand to stressors of your work environment; it’s about having the capacity to understand and accept that the unexpected is part of life and to always be mentally and physically prepared for it. Resiliency is about transparency and honesty in how we perform our duties, and trusting those we work with and for. It’s also about believing we are doing what we were always meant to do. If you do these things, your time at work, and away from it, will be more rewarding.”
Several of the graduates received awards for their performance during training:
- John Nolan 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, killed in the line of duty in 1974.
- Clark Nissley received the Health and Physical Fitness Award, which is given to the officer who participates and excels in the Hard Rock Challenge and achieves the class’s best score in the Montana Physical Abilities Test.
- Ikaika Edmundson-Shook received the Paul Williams Award, which is given to the officer who provided inspiration to the staff and students through a display of unwavering dedication and determination. The award is given in memory of the late Chouteau County Sheriff Paul Williams.
- John Nolan also received the Jack Wiseman Award, which is given to the officer selected by his/her peers as the most outstanding officer. 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.
- Joel Stewart received the Joe May Award, which is given to the officer who displays exceptional leadership and 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.
- Michael Ellerton 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.
- Cole Fuhrman received the Alex Mavity Award, which is given to the student 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.
- Kaihan Ceylan 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.
- Clark Nissley also 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.
- Kayce Milligan received the Hal Vogelsang Award, which is given to the officer who displays the highest degree of fidelity as determined by 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 Nolan also 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.
Here is the complete class roster:
Jesse Adame Blackfeet Law Enforcement
Michael Ellerton Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office
Timothy Haymond MT Highway Patrol
Chris Herrick Missoula Police Department
Marvin Iwu Motor Carrier Services
Evan O’Neill Cascade County Sheriff’s Office
Allen Schmidt Big Horn County Sheriff’s Office
Shayne Stadel Great Falls Police Department
Erica Stanley Fort Benton Police Department
Dustin Willey Kalispell Police Department
Jeffrey Barnes Motor Carrier Services
Daniel Buchholtz Missoula Police Department
Kaihon Ceylan Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office
Damon Chenoweth Rocky Boy Police Department
Eric Denney Blackfeet Law Enforcement
Ikaika Edmundson-Shook Ft. Peck Tribes Law & Justice
Benjamin Hulme Great Falls Police Department
Paul Jernigan Lake County Sheriff’s Office
Paul Kinslow MT Highway Patrol
Tara Weekes Billings Police Department
Alex Becken MT Highway Patrol
Jackson Booth Laurel Police Department
Lance Dollarhide Billings Police Department
Jessie Girsch St. Ignatius Police Department
Samantha Gondeiro Great Falls Police Department
Collin Kiewatt Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office
Austin Picton Deer Lodge Police Department
Woodrow Shirley MSU Police Department Billings
Kyle St. George Boulder Police Department
Cade Thompson MT Highway Patrol
Cale Bruun MT Highway Patrol
David Coles Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office
Keith Harbour Lewis & Clark County Sheriff’s Office
Mike Himmelspach MT Dept. of Livestock
Kyle Hodges Bozeman Police Department
Ronald Kinyon Toole County Sheriff’s Office
Christopher Lueck Hamilton Police Department
Kayce Milligan MT Highway Patrol
Eric Stigen Billings Police Department
Jayce Barclay Havre Police Department
Sean Beasley Glendive Police Department
Zachary Blair Ravalli County Sheriff’s Office
Ryan Daub MT Highway Patrol
Nicholas Fonte Billings Police Department
Cole Fuhrman Lewis & Clark County Sheriff’s Office
Justin Knapp MT Highway Patrol
Austin Nenow Cascade County Sheriff’s Office
Joel Stewart Dillon Police Department
Joshua Uylaki Toole County Sheriff’s Office
Duston Clements Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office
Dillon Dosson Red Lodge Police Department
Brett Edelman Great Falls Police Department
Christopher Ellis MT Highway Patrol
Randy Nagel Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office
Clark Nissley Missoula Police Department
John Nolan Cascade County Sheriff’s Office
Rich Ormiston Livingston Police Department
Trevor Smith Billings Police Department