YODER — Seventy new law enforcement officers graduated from the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center (KLETC) on Sept. 18 at a ceremony in KLETC’s Integrity Auditorium. The large class size was designed to prevent disruption to Kansas law enforcement and to ensure there was no additional delay in training created by the suspension of on-campus classes in spring 2020 due to COVID-19. Local graduate was Kevin Norton, Great Bend Police Department.
Christopher Engle-Tjaden of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation was the graduating class president. Mike Satterlee, KLETC instructor of police and class coordinator for the 268th Basic Training Class, was the speaker for the ceremony.
Officers Aaron Free of the Salina Police Department and Charles Semenko of the Scott City Police Department were named to the Director’s Honor Roll. Semenko was also awarded the Larry Welch Award of Academic Excellence, while Free was recognized as the class “Top Shot.” Randy Bailey and Caleb Dickey of the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office both won the Top Fitness award for most miles, with Dickey also being named the most improved.
The 268th also raised over $1,700 for the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Kansas (CACKS). This money will be going to a project that will benefit children across the state called My Backpack. Engle-Tjaden presented CACKS Executive Director Juliane Walker a check on behalf of the class.
Graduates receive certificates of course completion from KLETC and Kansas law enforcement certification from the Kansas Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards and Training, the state’s law enforcement licensing authority. The training course fulfills the state requirement for law enforcement training. Classroom lectures and hands-on applications help train officers to solve the increasingly complex problems they face in the line of duty.
Established by the Kansas Legislature in 1968, KLETC trains the majority of municipal, county and state law enforcement officers in Kansas and oversees the training of the remaining officers at seven authorized and certified academy programs operated by local law enforcement agencies and the Kansas Highway Patrol.
About 300 officers enroll annually in KLETC 14-week basic training programs. KLETC offers continuing education and specialized training to over 10,000 Kansas officers each year. KLETC is located one mile west and one mile south of Yoder, near Hutchinson, and is a division of University of Kansas Lifelong & Professional Education.
The graduates, who began their training in June 2020, represented 42 municipal, county and state law enforcement agencies from across Kansas.