POST Class #345 Graduation
345 – Protect the Hive!
On Thursday, November 21st, DPS’ Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Law Enforcement Academy held graduation exercises for Law Enforcement Officer Session #345. The class’s motto was “345 – Protect the Hive!” New Ogden City Police Officer Williams addressed the motivation behind the motto in his class response – see below for details.
Thirty-three new officers, deputies and troopers graduated and will join 19 different law enforcement agencies throughout the state. The agencies receiving new law enforcement officers from session #345 are as follows:
- Davis County Sheriff’s Office
- Dixie State University Police Department
- Farmington City Police Department
- Granite School District Police Department
- Juan County Sheriff’s Office
- North Ogden Police Department
- Ogden Police Department
- Provo Police Department
- Sandy Police Department
- Sanpete County Sheriff’s Office
- San Juan County Sheriff’s Office
- St. George Police Department
- South Jordan Police Department
- Tooele City Police Department
- Utah County Sheriff’s Office
- Utah Department of Corrections
- Utah Highway Patrol
- West Jordan Police Department
- West Valley City Police Department
Utah State Parks Ranger Brody Young delivered the keynote address at the ceremony.
He told Class 345 he was at the graduation for two reasons: first, his cousin was graduating and second, he went through an extremely traumatic experience and there are valuable lessons that he can share with the new law enforcement officers.
Officer Young was ambushed in the desert in 2010. He was shot nine times and left to die. As he reflected on the situation, he told the cadets, “I was presented with a choice – it was rather simple. You can lay down and die or you can get up and fight. I didn’t want to die. Never was I taught that death was an option. In your academy class, it was never taught, we don’t train like that, they teach us to live and that had a really deep impact on me. Death was never an option. I had to get back to what I truly loved. And lying there on the ground, alone, bleeding out, it was my family. Thoughts of my wife and my three kids who were 6, 3, and 9 months at the time. Seeing their faces, I had to crawl to my truck, I had to get to my radio. They were my motivation.”
As he encouraged the new officers to find their motivation, Ranger Young noted that since they were there, graduating and becoming police officers, they probably already had found their motivation – it is to serve. Ranger Young said the desire to serve is the most powerful concept we have. He concluded his speech by telling the new officers to never give up.
New Ogden City Police Officer Williams delivered the Class 345 response. “We started many weeks ago as a group of strangers from around the state and, in fact, the country, and we have grown into a family with an unbreakable bond of honor,” he said. “Our training has been rigorous and grueling,” but throughout it, the members of Class 345 encouraged and challenged one another.
He expressed the class’ gratitude to the POST staff for imparting their wisdom and tactics and expressed appreciation for their passion and willingness to push the class beyond out goals. “Your enthusiasm for your craft is contagious. We’re each better because of you.”
Officer Williams concluded his address by elaborating on the origins and logic behind the class motto.
“Bees are willing to live their lives for a purpose greater than themselves. To protect their domain and their colony, they work tirelessly to master and utilize their individual skills to work as a single unit to overwhelm physically and tactically any adversary attempting to do harm to their colony. The result of their unified efforts is to preserve peace by establishing that protection. We the Class 345 have learned the skills necessary to do just that: to serve and protect our individual communities.”
Sgt. Bench administered the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics to the cadets, who then received their law enforcement certificates.
Several of the graduating cadets were recognized for significant achievements. The Outstanding Firearms Award, which is given to the cadet with the overall high average on the day shoot and night shoot was presented to new Farmington City Police Officer Dane Hansen.
New Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Landon Coates received the Outstanding Physical Fitness Award.
The High Academic Award went to new Provo City Police Officer Brandon Hutchinson.
Farmington Officer Hansen also received the outstanding Emergency Vehicle Operations award.
And the Outstanding Achiever Award, presented by the Utah Peace Officer Association, went to new Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Landon Coates.
Please join us in welcoming these new members of Utah’s law enforcement community! Congratulations Class 345!