Forty Graduate from Northern Arizona Regional Training Academy

16 December 2016  
Photo by: Torrence Dunham
NARTA Graduates Highest Number of Recruits in Program History


PRESCOTT- Shayleen Elenz spent most of her life in Prescott Valley and wanted to become a police officer because of the positive experiences she had with law enforcement in the past.

That dream transpired into a moment Elenz shared with 39 other graduates of the Northern Arizona Regional Training Academy on Thursday at Yavapai College as recruits officially became police officers in front of family, friends and fellow officers.

“It was a tough journey, it was a really tough time, but super proud,” said Elenz following the ceremony.

Aspiring police officers must go through twenty weeks of intense training that prepares an officer for anything they might come across while on the job whether it be giving directions or a dangerous situation where lives are at risk.

Academy Commander Patrick Ruiz, who has been with the department since 1998 and was recently promoted to Lieutenant of the Prescott Valley Police Department in June of 2016, said officers learn state and constitutional laws during the program as well as driving, proficiency skills, defensive tactics and physical agility tests.

“There is a lot of different stuff that is being thrown at you,” said Ruiz. “You have to be mentally able to work through it, get by, and keep going.”

Gabriel Holmann was thrilled to graduate the program but the excitement nearly brought him to tears during a video that illustrated the dedication he and others went through to complete training. As he stood outside surrounded by family and friends with a new Police badge shining in the sun, Holmann said he is ready to take on the future.

“Got my chest real high and I’m know what I’m going to do,” Holmann said. “I’m ready and I can’t wait for the real stuff.”

As Holmann continued to work toward a common goal with his unit, a friendship grew among fellow officers.

“We were always together, we were always close,” Holmann said. “We just know each other personally

The togetherness and willing to do whatever is needed to help stood-out to Ruiz in this graduating group, which is the biggest class in program history.

“Being a class of forty, they all stuck together,” Ruiz said. “They all went in and wanted to volunteer and join different projects around town for fundraisers; so they worked well together.”

Not only did this graduating class feature the most officers in program history, but there was also a high amount of women who graduated the program which Ruiz said is good for the industry.

“It’s nice to see that there were so many females in this class because that’s what we need out there in the field,” Ruiz said.

As the ceremony concluded on Thursday afternoon, each of the forty officers stood up and raised their right hand to officially start the next step in the journey of their career following weeks of intense training.

“We kicked butt and we made it,” Elenz said.

Photos by Torrence Dunham


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