For several years now, Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta tribes have named public safety as their top priority. Some communities in the region don’t have any law enforcement. The ones that do often don’t have enough, or don’t have any training. On Thursday, June 13 that situation changed for a few communities across the region when Yuut Elitnaurviat in Bethel graduated a class of 13 rural law enforcement officers.
Most of the graduates are serving their communities as Village Police Officers:
- Nunapitchuk Police Department: Zachariah Brink and Anthony Sallison
- Chevak Police Department: Lincoln Friday and Zackar Levi
- Pilot Station Police Department: Cynthia Paul, Jaron Paul, and Mariah Polty
Other graduates are serving as Tribal Police Officers:
- Quinhagak Police Department: Phillip Charlie and John Peter
- Native Village of Mountain Village: Darrin Johnson
One officer will work as a school resources officer at Bethel Regional High School:
- Daniel Hannah
Two officers traveled from outside the region for the training. Both will work for the Afognak Native Corporation in Kodiak as Land Patrol Officers:
- Brandon Bartleson and Jess Eggemeyer II
Each graduate completed 15 days of basic law enforcement training. Courses included handling domestic violence and sexual assault cases, investigating crime scenes, collecting and securing evidence, and defensive tactics, among other courses. Most graduates scored in the 90th percentile, making this group one of the highest ranked graduating classes.
Congratulations to all the graduates!