Three newly hired Salt River Police Department (SRPD) officers graduated from the 18-week Arizona Law Enforcement Academy on July 30. Officers Robert Kuna, Michael Derfus and Derek Benally were officially sworn in by Chief Judge Delbert Ray and all swore an oath of office for the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.
Sgt. Jonathan Gann said all three officers tested in August 2009 and had to pass the physical agility and written tests, oral interviews and a very extensive background check.
“The newly hired recruits then underwent a three week pre-academy before going to the 18-week academy,” he said. “After completing the academy, the three officers will train an additional 12 weeks with an experienced officer. By the time they reach solo officer status, their entire hiring process, training and probation period will have been nearly 18 months.”
Gann said these individuals have shown heart and dedication and will proudly serve the Community. He said the addition of the officers will benefit the Community in many ways. The SRPD can add personnel to patrol, which increases and improves services to the Community.
The three positions are also financed through federal government grant called the Cops Hiring Recovery Program.
“Through this grant we were granted six officer positions, with five of those positions currently filled,” Gann said. “The sixth position is still open, along with others and our hiring team is currently seeking qualified Community members to test.”
The next test date for the SRPD is August 28.