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POST Session #343 Graduation

Thursday August 8, 2019

Motivated, Dedicated and Ready to Lead

Cadets sit in rows at the graduation ceremony and look toward the stage as they listen to a speaker.

On Thursday, August 1st, DPS’ Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST)’ Law Enforcement Academy held graduation exercises for Law Enforcement Officer Session #343. The class’s motto was “Motivated, Dedicated and Ready to Lead!” and was usually shouted in response to the question “Class 343, what are we?”

Thirty-three new officers, deputies and troopers graduated and will join 16 different law enforcement agencies throughout the state. The agencies receiving new law enforcement officers from session #343 are as follows: 

  • Cedar City Police Department
  • Clearfield Police Department
  • Draper Police Department
  • Division of Wildlife Resources
  • Enoch Police Department
  • Layton Police Department
  • Millard County Sheriff’s Office
  • Orem Police Department
  • Provo Police Department
  • South Salt Lake Police Department
  • St. George Police Department
  • Utah County Sheriff’s Office
  • Utah Department of Corrections
  • Utah Highway Patrol
  • West Jordan Police Department
  • West Valley City Police Department
POST Director Major Stephenson addresses the graduation attendees.

In his introductory remarks, POST Director Major Stephenson discussed Sir Robert Peel’s Policing Principles. Major Stephenson focused on the connection between the public and the police that Sir Peel made in the 7th principle: “To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.” Through this connection between the police and the public, the two become a team, Major Stephenson noted: “Only when we work together as a team can we achieve an elevated quality of life in Utah.” He expressed that he is optimistic about our future, especially given his interaction with the officers, deputies and troopers who comprised Class #343.

Lehi Chief of Police Darren Paul stands at the podium as he addresses the cadets.

“As the next generation of law enforcement officers, you represent the hope of our society and the safety of our community.”

Lehi Chief of Police Darren Paul

Lehi City Chief of Police Darren Paul served as the ceremony’s keynote speaker. He started by discussing his family’s history with law enforcement, since his father and grandfather both served as officers. Looking to the present and the future, he told Class 343 that “as the next generation of law enforcement officers you represent the hope of our society and the safety of our community.” Chief Paul told Class 343 that they have a unique opportunity to be an influence for good and to embrace the many ways in which they can do so. He said that he consulted Lehi City PD’s sergeants and asked them what advice they would share with a new class of graduates. Among their recommendations were to find a mentor, seek advice, ask a lot of questions and be willing to accept direction and at times, correction. Chief Paul encouraged the graduates to embrace the communities they serve and to constantly look for ways to go above and beyond. He coached them to be optimistic and have a positive attitude and to encourage and inspire fellow officers who may be struggling with difficulties. And he reminded the members of Class 343 to remember their families, because, just like the graduates themselves, their family members have made significant sacrifices for them to meet their career goals. Chief Paul ended by sharing his “sincerest hope that you will have a long and satisfying law enforcement career.”

Cadets stand and recite the law enforcement code of ethics.
Cedar City Officer McCoy delivers the class response - he stands at the podium speaking to the audience.

“We are now law enforcement officers – take pride in your badge, being a part of the blue family and being a leader in your community.”

New Cedar City Officer McCoy

New Cedar City Officer McCoy delivered the class response at the ceremony. He recounted many aspects of their training and praised members of his class for excelling in different areas of expertise and for working together as a team. He mentioned a poignant lesson one instructor presented to the class about half way through the academy. The instructor put a dollar bill on each cadet’s desk and instructed them to look at the back of it, where there’s an eagle. In one claw, the eagle holds arrows and in the other, an olive branch. The instructor’s lesson to the cadets was that they are equipped with a weapon and at the same time with the ability to communicate and extend an olive branch. As he addressed his classmates, Officer McCoy said “We are now law enforcement officers – take pride in your badge, being part of the blue family and being a leader in your community.”

A graduating cadet poses with his grandfather as he accepts his law enforcement certificate.
A graduating female cadets shakes hands with the chief of police of Provo.
New Draper City Officer poses with the chief of police while holding his POST certificate
Major Kotter, Lt. Colonel Zesiger stand next to a new trooper and his sister, who is also a trooper, as they hold the law enforcement certficiate.
New Millard County Deputy shakes the hand of another deputy after receiving his POST certificate
A new Orem officer stands with the chief of Police of Orem and holds his certificate.

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 Enoch City Police Department Officer Mackelprang. New Orem City Police Officer Hansen received the Outstanding Physical Fitness Award. In a rare occurrence, two officers tied and both received the High Academic Award: Orem City Police Officer Juarez and Enoch City Police Officer Mackelprang. And the Outstanding Achiever Award, presented by the Utah Fraternal Order of Police, went to new Enoch City Police Department Officer Mackelprang.

Enoch City PD officer accept the award for
Orem PD Officer Hansen shakes hands with members of the POST staff after receiving the Outstanding Physical Fitness Award.
Orem Officer Juarez and Enoch Officer Mackelprang shake hands with the POST staff as they receive the High Academic Award.
Enoch City PD Officer Mackelprang accepts the award for outstanding achiever. He appears onstage with a representative from the UPOA and holds the award.

Please join us in welcoming the new officers, deputies and Troopers from Class 343 as they start their law enforcement careers and work toward keeping Utah safe!


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