SNOWFLAKE — The “Thin Blue Line” in Northeastern Arizona is a little stronger with the swearing in June 10th of 13 new peace officers who completed the intensive 20-week Arizona Peace Officer Standards for Training (AzPOST) training at Northland Pioneer College’s Northeastern Arizona Law Enforcement Training Academy (NALETA).
Navajo County Superior Court Presiding Judge Michala M. Ruechel administered the oath to new Navajo County Sheriff’s Office Deputies: Darnell Amos, Tyson Binnie, Chance Flores, Tyler Schaefer, Benjamin Spurlock, Kolten Van Winkle; Pinetop-Lakeside Police Department’s Officers: Collin Dalley and Gabriel Gauna; St. John’s Police Officer Adam Castillo; Apache County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Kyle Peterson; Greenlee County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Andrew Esparza; and Hopi Resource Enforcement Services Officer Lomayestewa.
NALETA is a true partnership with regional law enforcement agencies, who 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 (NCSO) and Recruit Training Officers (RTO) Officer Bernard Huser (SLPD) and Alicia Marquez (WPD). RTO Marquez presented the Physical Fitness award to Officer Gauna, the Defensive Driving award to Deputy Amos, with the Top Firearms, the Academic award and the ‘David Kellywood Top Recruit Award’ to Deputy Van Winkle.
On hand to witness the ceremony were limited law enforcement representatives from the sponsoring agencies and limited 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, which can take four to eight weeks,” urged Wisner. “By recruiting and training locally, the agencies know the individual already has ties to the community, through family and housing. This has also been shown to improve the success rate for cadets.”
The NALETA 2021-2 class is scheduled to begin July 19th. 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, which will include physical agility, firearms and written tests, background investigation and polygraph.
“To succeed, a recruit must be dedicated and willing to endure the intensive academic and physical training required,” explained Wisner.
Further information concerning AzPOST eligibility requirements can be found online at post.az.gov then 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.