By Owen Woods |


POLICE academy graduates from the Class 2021-19 were recognized and sworn in at Monte Vista’s Chapman Park on Friday morning. A group of 16 cadets was presented with speeches from Trinidad State College Dean Jack Wiley and State Sen. Cleave Simpson. 

Just coming out of six months in session at the state legislature, Simpson joked, “I feel safer now than I have over the past 120 days.” He honored the cadets with a hopeful, lighthearted, but supportive speech. 

Highlighting the sacrifices that law enforcement makes, the modern challenges, and recognizing the cadets dedication, Simpson ended his speech simply, “We’re so proud of your accomplishments today.” 

Cadet Tina DeSanti, who was sworn in as a new Alamosa Police Department officer, gave a speech as the student representative. Reflecting on her time with her fellow cadets she named off a few of the nicknames they gave each other and reminisced on the hard work and long hours required to get to this graduation. Flat tires on the driving course, windy days on the shooting range, and long hours in the classroom were among her memories. 

“Let’s talk about pepper spray,” she said.

Afterward, the cadets were presented with awards and distinctions in Driving, Arrest Control, Firearms, Physical Fitness, and Academics. 

In traditional graduation fashion, each cadet was named and given a diploma by Monte Vista Police Chief George Dingfelder. Dingfelder noted that police academy graduations in the Valley have always occurred during National Police Week

“In 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15 falls, as National Police Week. Established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962, National Police Week pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others.”

Alamosa County Sheriff Robert Jackson read the cadets the Police Officer’s Creed. To end the day, cadets were sworn into their agencies. They were trained through the Trinidad State College Law Enforcement Training Academy.

The newly sworn officers are: Cody Benton, James Conn, Pedro De Pablo Pedro, Tina DeSanti, Marshall Dickinson, Daniel Golden, Tristan Harrelson, Kolten Hillis, Adriana Juan, Patrick Martinez, Ray Eloy Medina, Brandon Sanchez, Caleb Sanchez, Leslie Selva, Taylor Weber, and Aaron White.

A photo gallery from the ceremony:

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