The 170th graduating class from the Montana Law Enforcement Academy was welcomed into Montana law enforcement at the Helena Civic Center on Thursday.
The graduates will serve with 34 different state, county or tribal agencies.
MLEA Administrator Glen Stinar told the graduates to always work on communication with those they serve.
“If you look at people as problems instead of people with problems, you’ll never be able to communicate with them,” said Stinar. “We all owe some person a success, at least in part, to someone who said the right thing to us at the right time. You know have that opportunity everyday to be that person for others.”
This year’s class representative is Deputy John Nolan of the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office.
The 25year U.S. Marine Corps veteran said he wants people to know that he and his fellow graduates are there to improve their communities.
“There are a few people out there that have created a bad sentiment to the law enforcement profession, but there are many many more good people out there,” said Nolan. “I think when people reach out and get to know the people that are riding around in their community a little bit more, I think they’re going to find they’re normal human beings just like them behind the badge.”
In addition to being named the class representative, Nolan received the Jack Wiseman Award, which is awarded by the class to the person they believe as the most outstanding officer.
MLEA also took time at the ceremony to honor Deputy Sheriff Jacob Allmendinger of Gallatin County and Blackfeet Law Enforcement Services Officer Velden Calica who passed away this year.
Both men graduated in the 164th class of the Academy.