Public safety academy graduates first class | NevadaAppeal.com

Public safety academy graduates first class

JIM SCRIPPS

Gov. Kenny Guinn warmed the crowd at the state Legislative Building as he heaped praise Friday on the first graduating class of the Nevada Public Safety Academy.

Twenty-seven graduates from state law enforcement agencies took home their badges after a short ceremony that ended 16 weeks of rigorous training. The governor, a contingent of state employees and friends and family of the graduates were on hand in the Senate chambers.

The Academy was split from the traditional Peace Officers Standards in Training program late last year. POST continues to train officers in local police departments.

“There’s not one of us who doesn’t benefit from your protection and calling to serve the people of Nevada,” Guinn told the graduates. “This is just the beginning.”

The governor spoke to the crowd of about 150 of the challenges that officers will face during their careers, even taking a somber moment to reflect on monuments in Reno and Carson City that have been erected to honor officers killed in the line of duty.

“I truly thought, ‘This is something for which I hope we should never have another ceremony for,'” Guinn said. “But I know that’s not the case.”

Trainers from the academy also praised the students for their exemplary testing in academic, firearms and physical tests. Overall, the class scored the equivalent of an A grade, said Academy Commander Paul Pabon.

“Even before they knew each other’s names, they were driving each other towards success,” he said. Pabon said the program is designed to combine collegiate-style academics with military-style regiment.

Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Guy Davis was chosen by his class to give a commencement speech.

During his speech, Davis regaled the crowd with stories about “the hot shell shuffle” (where cadets jump around after spent pistol shell casings go down their shirts), and joked that Trooper Eddie Alexander got a spent shell stuck in his nose.

Near the end of his speech, Davis recognized the solemnity of the moment, saying “Although it hasn’t been easy, we are proud to be part of the family of law enforcement that protects this great state of Nevada.”

Among graduates recognized for their performance was best overall shooter, Trooper Donald Dunmore, and best overall cadet, Joseph Schmid.