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Law Enforcement Academy continues to keep communities safe

Submitted by Michelle Renfrew
Phone: 907-455-2833


Photo caption below.
Photo by Michelle Renfrew
Jeff Lee of the Bethel Police Department, gives his remarks as the class speaker to the 15th graduating class of the UAF Tanana Valley Campus Law Enforcement Academy.
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Communities around Alaska and the Lower 48 are a little bit safer thanks to the University of Alaska Fairbanks Tanana Valley Campus.

The TVC Law Enforcement Academy held its 15th graduation ceremony on Friday, adding a dozen new officers to police forces around the state and nation. The ceremony marked the closing of the 13-week academy, which began in mid-August.

Friday's graduates include students from the Bethel Police Department, Wasilla Police Department, Whittier Police Department, Saint Paul Police Department, Shungnak, Buckland, Nekoosa, the State of Wisconsin and Fairbanks. The academy is designed to provide students with basic police training, which enables them to receive the Alaska Police Standards Certification. The certification makes them eligible for employment with 21 state law enforcement agencies or 43 municipal police departments within Alaska.

Graduate Jeff Lee from the Bethel Police Department spoke to his classmates and their families and friends during an afternoon ceremony at the Noel Wien Library. He praised the training he and his classmates received from program coordinator Dusty Johnson.

"A true test of one's self is not only how he performs in life, but what he passes on to those that follow," said Lee. "We have some very large shoe prints to follow in. I believe we are up to the task. We now have the tools, we have the knowledge and we have the ability. All we have to do now is put it to work and mold it to our own personal style. With Dusty Johnson's example of how this is done, we will each be able to accomplish this. We are able, we are willing and we are ready. We will not fail, we will not falter and we will not give up. We are now officers of the law."

Students in the academy receive 490 hours of training and education in a wide variety of topics, including basic patrol procedures, marksmanship, arson investigation, report writing, major crime investigation, traffic accident investigation, search and seizure laws, DWI detection, domestic violence response and practical testing, cultural diversity, and survival tactics. In addition, students can receive 16 college credits for completing the academy, which can be applied towards the bachelor's degree in justice at UAF.

Johnson said this year's class members have proved themselves hard workers.

"They have come together as a class by studying and practicing," said Johnson. "I have seen changes in every academy I have been involved with, I keep adding more responsibilities and the students keep rising to the occasion. It's truly been a privilege to work with such a fantastic group."

The next TVC Law Enforcement Academy starts in February 2009. For more information contact Dusty Johnson at 455-2811.

CONTACT: Dusty Johnson, TVC law enforcement program coordinator, 907-455-2811 or ffdpj@uaf.edu. Michelle Renfrew, TVC marketing and community relations manager, at 907-455-2833 or fnmmr@uaf.edu.

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