Three Detention Officers from Cheyenne River graduated from the United States Indian Police Academy at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia, New Mexico on May 17.
During the five-week training course, Officers Clyde P. Mandan, Blaze Eagle Horse, and Jalynn Widow, all CRST tribal members, completed 252 hours of corrections officer training which included written exams, hands-on labs, policy and procedures, correctional securing, Use of Force, communication, Rights of Inmates, suicide prevention, Prison Rape Elimination Act, and defensive tactics.
The graduating class consisted of 31 corrections officers from tribes throughout Indian Country, including the Navajo, Choctaw, and Omaha Nations. Of these officers, Officer Mandan was selected as the guidon bearer in recognition for his excellence in physical fitness and professional bearing.
The graduation ceremony began with the national anthem and innovation, and was followed by keynote speaker Academy Director Steven K. Juneau. Next was the presentation of special awards and graduation certifications, and the pinning of academy graduation pins.
According to the commencement program, “The United States Indian Police Academy pin is the symbol of accomplishment. It is earned by individuals who successfully complete the Indian Country Correctional Officer Training Program. The pin is then presented to the officer at graduation by the Academy Director and the Primary Lieutenant.”
Officers then took the Law of Enforcement Code of Ethics, which was administered by course instructors. A benediction and honor song were conducted before the class guidon was retired.
Widow said she was inspired by her late-aunt Norma Widow, who served as a corrections officer for over 10 years.
“It means a lot to me because my auntie Norma, she passed away, graduated twice from the academy. She was much older when she went than I was when I went. That was the main reason why I did it,” said Widow, who was back to at work, proudly serving her people.