Three local officers graduate from the MLEA
On Wednesday we followed some new officers as they completed their final week of the Montana Law Enforcement Academy.
After completing program, three local officers graduated today and are now one step closer to serving the Helena community. After a grueling 12 week training, testing not only physical but mental strength, Helena Police Officers Andrew Barton and Bryan Beniger, along with Lewis and Clark County Sheriff's Deputy Gregory Holmlund are graduates of the Montana Law Enforcement Academy.
Holmlund says, "I am very proud, I feel like it is going to make me a safer, better person when I am working the street."
Beniger says, "Relieved and extremely proud of everybody in the class, proud of our accomplishments and happy to be graduated to get to start work."
A well-rounded education in law enforcement isn't the only thing these men will walk away with.
Barton says, "Spending time with some good people, met some people around the state I didn't even know existed and now we're gonna be life-long friends."
One of those friends will also be his co-worker.
Beniger says, "It's kind of like college sports, because I played college football and the best times were the times in the locker room or the times in the dorms at the academy, just all the friends I have made and will probably keep in touch with the rest of my life."
All 3 men say being a law enforcement officer is a life-long dream. Holmlund says serving the town he grew up makes it especially meaningful.
Holmlund says, "I was born and raised here and this is something I have wanted to do since I was very young. I am very proud."
With the academy behind them, and field training as the last hurdle, there journey is almost complete. Helena Police officers must complete 16 weeks of field training with the Helena Police, the Sheriff's Department requires a 20 week field training.
Story by Jill Jagelski, Beartooth NBC.
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