Northeast Arizona’s “Thin Blue Line” is a little stronger after the swearing in December 17 of six new peace officers who recently completed the intensive 21-week Arizona Peace Officer Standards for Training (AzPOST) at Northland Pioneer College’s Northeastern Arizona Law Enforcement Training Academy (NALETA).
Navajo County Superior Court Presiding Judge Michala M. Ruechel administered a socially distanced oath to new Navajo County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jordan Smith, White Mountain Apache Police Officers Ariel Edison and Chrispin Feller, Payson Police Officers Luca Barr and Carson Frahm, and Clifton Police Officer Alexander Armijo.
NALETA is a true partnership with regional law enforcement agencies that assign sworn officers as instructors at no charge to the college, explained Jon Wisner, NPC’s director of public safety education.
Guiding the recruits through the academy were Class Supervisor Sgt. Brett Johnson (Navajo County Sheriff’s Office) and Recruit Training Officer (RTO) Cory Fechtelkotter (Show Low Police Department). Fechtelkotter presented the Physical Fitness award to Officer Armijo, the Firearms award to Officer Barr, and the Defensive Driving, Top Academic and the ‘David Kellywood Top Recruit Award’ to Deputy Smith.
On hand to witness the brief ceremony were limited law enforcement representatives from the sponsoring agencies and select family of the recruits.
“If you are interested in becoming a certified Arizona peace officer, contact the agency you would like to work for to begin the process,” urged Wisner. “By recruiting and training locally, the agencies know the individual already has ties to the community, the support of family members in the area and housing. This has also been shown to improve the success rate for cadets.”
NALETA’s class of 2021-2022 training is scheduled to begin January 25. Centrally located at the Northeast Arizona Training Center (Jake Flake Emergency Services Institute) in Taylor, NALETA is a fully accredited AzPOST “closed” academy. This means students can only enroll under the sponsorship of a law enforcement agency.
At a minimum, a prospective recruit must be at least 21 years of age by the end of the academy and be able to pass a variety of testing processes, including physical agility, firearms, and written tests along with a background investigation and a polygraph.
“Recruits must be dedicated and willing to endure the intensive academic and physical training required to be successful in the program,” explained Wisner.
Further information regarding AzPOST eligibility requirements can be found online at post.az.gov by clicking on the “Certification Process” link in the top navigation bar, or by contacting the police or sheriff’s office where you would like to begin your law enforcement career. Tribal officers, Game and Fish Wardens, and agricultural inspectors are also sworn peace officers.
Information can also be obtained by contacting Jon Wisner, NPC’s director of public safety education and NALETA director, (928) 536-6265, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or on NPC’s website, http://www.npc.edu/law-enforcement-training.