Torrential downpours didn’t stop more than two dozen local law enforcement officers from graduating the Peace Officers Standards and Training Academy on Wednesday morning.
Deputies from Carson City, Douglas County, Lyon County and more received their POST certificates, establishing them as Category I officers, meaning they’re trained to be able to work as patrol officers on the streets. The academy is 17 weeks long consisting of 652 hours of intensive training.
Deputies Daniel Loyola, Kyle Smith and Joshua Valdes from Carson City; Deputies Salvatore DeRosa, Colton Waggoner and Steven Warfield from Douglas County; Deputies Matthew Galvin and Richard Spencer from Lyon County; and Christopher Gentine from Lyon County Juvenile Probation were among the 27 law enforcement agents to graduate from the academy.
POST executive director Michael Sherlock told the graduates they owed it to themselves and their communities to be the best officers both physically and mentally.
“If you act in rule of the law you will have a long and distinguished career,” Sherlock said.
This year’s keynote speaker, Douglas County Sheriff Ron Perini, spoke to the graduates about the importance of the POST training in an officer’s career.
“We want you to do your job and go home at night,” Perini said.
Perini shared what the academy was like when he first started in law enforcement in the 60s. He said when it first started the academy was only five days long, and not until several years later did it get up to three weeks.
“POST has done such great things... we have grown so much,” Perini said.
He also talked about how even though this training was finished, they should still continue to strive forward with their educations and careers to be the best law enforcement officers they can.
“I want you to go on, continue to educate and train and learn about law enforcement,” Perini said. “There is so much to do in law enforcement, there isn’t the time in 25 years (before you retire) to do all you can do. Learn about everything there is and all the different areas of law enforcement and you will be happier.”
He talked about how deputies need to continue to grow to one day move through the ranks.
“You won’t get there if you don’t do anything,” Perini said.
Going through the academy is no easy feat. It’s long days, weeks away from family and difficult lessons the graduates have to endure and not every officer makes it to graduation day.
Class presenter, Nevada Gaming Control Board Agent Jason Woodruff, talked about how the class lost almost three officers within the first few days of the academy.
“Each day was a sigh of relief that we made it just one more day,” Woodruff said.
But in the end, for the graduates, the academy was all worth it, because law enforcement is in their blood.
“We get asked why be a peace officer, it’s tough,” Woodruff said. “Some say (the answer) is that it is something bigger than themselves, others say it’s because of freedom while others say it is to watch out for the community. But I think the best answer is that you can’t explain it, it just lives inside of us.”
In addition to the certificates, three deputies were honored with awards for their work in the academy. Douglas County Deputy DeRosa received the Superior Marksmanship Award, Lovelock Paiute Tribal Officer Ramiro Soukup received the Physical Fitness Award, and Elko Officer Dean Pinkham received the Outstanding Academic Achievement Award and Outstanding Graduate Award.