Twenty-six new officers were welcomed Thursday morning following the 2017 POST Academy graduation.
The graduates were surrounded by friends, family and coworkers. Carson City Sheriff’s Office had three deputies go through the POST academy — Deputies Jeremy Garcia, Daniel Henneberger and Bruce Pendragon — and Douglas County Sheriff’s Office had Deputy Derek Short graduate Thursday.
“If all you had to do was read a book and do what it tells you, anyone could be a peace officer,” said POST executive director Michael Sherlock. “But as you know it’s much more than that.”
The Nevada POST Academy is a 17-week program designed to train all Nevada peace officers on the standards and training for law enforcement. The program consists of 68 hours of law and legal procedures, 171 hours of patrol operations and investigations, 219 hours of performance skills, 35 hours of functions of a peace officer and 95 hours of course administration and exams.
“To the class, congratulations, if it is anything like I felt when I was here 20 and a half years ago, there is exhaustion, a sense of accomplishment and anxiety of what tomorrow is going to bring,” said Washoe County Sheriff’s Deputy Chief Russell Pedersen. “But you should be feeling a sense of pride.”
At the graduation, the speakers talked of the perception of police and how the graduates are courageous and honorable for answering the call to duty.
“You have such an extraordinary challenge and responsibility because so many people look up to you and rely on you,” said Pedersen.
“Thank you for the courage and commitment to join our family as police officers.”
The speakers also made sure to thank the graduates’ loved ones and departments for the support throughout their endeavour.
“Without the support of you, our families, loved ones, friends, chiefs, the staff at POST and everyone else, we probably wouldn’t be here today,” said Elko Police Department Officer Erik Anderson, “...it is only the beginning of our careers and training but with your support and confidence in us, we will prevail.”
The support among the class members was also a common theme at graduation. Many of the speakers recognized the bond the officers develop throughout the academy.
“Anyone that looks at our laughter and good times would think we have been friends forever,” Anderson said.
In addition, three graduates were honored for their work in the academy; Eureka County Sheriff’s Deputy James Sylvester for the Superior Marksmanship Award, Gaming Control Board Agent Jeff Bell for the Physical Fitness Award and Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputy Derek Short for Outstanding Graduate.
“It is a real honor (to have achieved the Outstanding Graduate),” Short said. “I have a lot of pride.”
“I have heard nothing but great things about (Short) and I am pretty proud of him,” said Douglas County Sheriff Ron Pierini.
For the Douglas deputies, they go through about two years of training in the jail before they attend the POST Academy, and with POST and Field Officer Training, it takes them about three to four years of training before they’re allowed to have their own cruiser.
But most of the graduates were excited to be finished with the academy and back with their departments.
“It is amazing how long it takes to get to this point, but how fast it goes by,” said Carson City Deputy Bruce Pendragon. “But it is great to have the support of the department and to see it to the end. Now the fun begins.”
Like many departments, Carson is glad to have their men back and ready for action.
“We are proud of them, they did a good job,” said Carson City Undersheriff Steve Albertsen. “We are very happy to finally have them back with us.”