The Yavapai College-based Northern Arizona Regional Training Academy, NARTA, is sending 28 new police officers to work supporting law enforcement agencies across Arizona.

NARTA Class 53 graduates celebrated their successful completion of a rigorous 21-week training program Dec. 8 in the YC Performing Arts Center. The ceremony featured a swearing in, presentation of individual performance awards and the traditional pinning of badges by the new police officers’ loved ones.

Speakers included YC President Dr. Lisa Rhine; NARTA Class 53 President Tanner Knight, a recruit of the Prescott Police Department; and Steve Gesell, Chief of the Cottonwood Police Department.

Dr. Rhine applauded the graduates’ courage and determination in choosing a law enforcement career in uncertain times. “Thank you for your selfless decision to protect and serve and to take on the risks and demanding responsibilities necessary for all of us to live in safe, secure communities,” she said.

In his remarks, Knight reflected on the uniqueness of Class 53, which included eight U.S. military veterans, a former professional baseball player, a 52-year-old, an engineer and a former South African police officer. Despite their differences, the group formed a strong brotherhood and together rose to the challenges of the academy, including an “unimaginable number of pushups,” Knight said.

Chief Gesell told the NARTA graduates they were “a shot in the arm” for law enforcement agencies everywhere that are having difficulty recruiting “quality human beings” to join “one of the most noble professions in the world.” Because “you need to thrive as a human being,” the chief urged graduates to focus on their families and their own physical and mental wellbeing while never wavering from their principles.

Following are the NARTA Class 53 graduates and their respective law enforcement agencies:

  • Jaden Jenkins, Camp Verde Marshal's Office
  • Cody Fant, Camp Verde Marshal's Office
  • Garrick Timson, Coconino County Sheriff's Office
  • Adam Reed, Flagstaff Police Department
  • Zachary Langley, Flagstaff Police Department
  • Tyler Tresch, Flagstaff Police Department
  • Stephen Wood, Hualapai Nation Police Department
  • Xavier Altamirano, Oro Valley Police Department
  • Michael Ryske, Oro Valley Police Department
  • Nathanial Carlson, Page Police Department
  • Raphael Pellegrino, Page Police Department
  • Chandler Wilkinson, Pinal County Sheriff's Office
  • Adam Miller, Pinal County Sheriff's Office
  • William May, Pinal County Sheriff's Office
  • Dylan Schrock, Prescott Police Department
  • Tanner Knight, Prescott Police Department
  • Cesar Astorga, Prescott Police Department
  • Benjamin Hamilton, Prescott Police Department
  • Grant Pithie, Prescott Valley Police Department
  • Bailey Ehrlich, Sedona Police Department
  • Cody Neitch, Williams Police Department
  • Blake Hanslik, Williams Police Department
  • Kevin Waugh, Yavapai Apache Police Department
  • Gabidson Boisrond, Yavapai Apache Police Department
  • Seth Hatfield, Yavapai Apache Police Department
  • Gregory Bolding, Yavapai County Sheriff's Office
  • Aaron Walters, Yavapai County Sheriff's Office
  • Nathan Chavez, Yavapai County Sheriff's Office