Originally Published: December 17, 2017 5:53 a.m.
Thirty men and women who answered the call to public service are wearing badges for the first time, following their Dec. 14 graduation from the Northern Arizona Regional Training Academy (NARTA).
The newly sworn peace officers, members of NARTA Class 43, represent the latest class of recruits and certified law enforcement officers for 13 agencies across Arizona. NARTA is housed at the YC Prescott Valley campus. The YC Performing Arts Center hosted a Class 43 graduation ceremony characterized by tradition, camaraderie and humor.
Graduation speakers applauded each new officer for their fortitude in completing the grueling 20-week training academy, and implored them to be compassionate and fair with the responsibilities entrusted to them.
“At the end of the day, it’s a judgment call. You have to consider not only what you can do, but what you should do. The way you make that call demonstrates your true character,” NARTA Commander Pat Ruiz said.
Class President Jesse P. Hubble, a newly sworn Yavapai County Sheriff’s deputy, accepted the NARTA commander’s challenge on behalf of his classmates. “We pledge to do our best to make your communities the best we can,” he said.
Class 43 included Yavapai College’s newest police officer, Aaron Ross King. “I’m still in shock that it’s over,” the 41 year-old graduate said.
King is the first YC Police Department officer to be trained at NARTA in nearly 20 years. A former member of the Arizona Department of Corrections’ Gang and Drug Task force, King has always wanted to be a police officer. After leaving the ADOC and moving to the Prescott area, he wondered if his age precluded him from fulfilling his dream. When he landed a campus safety position with the YCPD, he found encouragement from colleagues inside and outside the department.
“All the dominoes fell in the right direction for me,” he said.
Physical conditioning requirements notwithstanding, King said the hardest part of the training was being 41 in a group of mostly 20-somethings. Yes, the younger recruits asked the father of two a lot of questions. He doesn’t mind doling out advice, though, and he’s thrilled to be wearing a badge.
“I’m a sworn police officer now. I have a new chance in life,” he said, “I’m going to run with it.”
Class 43 NARTA graduates and their agencies are:
Jon Thomas Szymanski, Chino Valley Police Department
Rudy A. Arroyo, Clarkdale Police Department
Robert Scott Bulloch, Ryan T. Smith and Nicole White, Coconino County Sheriff’s Office
Kohl Wade Nixon, Cottonwood Police Department
John Nicholas Reid Oliver, Jesse David Schafer and Joshua M. Thifault, Flagstaff Police Department
Anthony Martin Harris, Hopi Resource Enforcement Services
Dekaila Jules Begay and Jonah D. Tsosie, Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety
Trevor Campbell and Daniel Carbajal, Page Police Department
Brady John Gibson and Larry Sanchez, Pinal County Sheriff’s Office
Kyle Alltop, Isaac Aaron Borman, Scout G. Butler and Cody Andrew Davis, Prescott Police Department
Wesley Alan Denison, Eric Mercado and Candace Nicole Pearson, Prescott Valley Police Department
Aaron Ross King, Yavapai College Police Department
Patrick Michael Boehm, Steve Gresham, Jesse Phillip Hubble, Chelsea Lee Johnson, Taylor James Mickle, Stephen James Tobias and Bryan Vega-Gutierrez, Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office.