This archived article was written by: Priscilla Sharp
The first graduating class from Utah State University Eastern’s Law Enforcement Academy (LEO) and Basic Corrections Academy (BCO) celebrated their graduation on April 8, 2015, in the Jennifer Leavitt Student Center.
Among the 12 graduates, seven were graduating from both BCO and LEO, and five were graduating from LEO. Officiating the ceremony was their Director Scott Henrie, Sheriff Jeff Woods, Vice Chancellor Peter Iyere and Chancellor Joe Peterson.
The graduation consisted of speeches given by Director Henrie and Captain Kelly Sparks, deputy director of the Peace Officer Standard and Training (POST) Academy. Awards were given to the graduates for physical fitness, superior fitness, academic achievement and, shooting the heck out of the range.
Captain Sparks began his speech with two quotes from Theodore Roosevelt. “I’ve never envied someone in my life who lived an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well,” and, “Just showing up is 80 percent of life.”
One of his ending points was the poem “A Soldiers Prayer.” He said, “Cadets, move forward with courage, and may God bless you all.” The rumbling of the cadets voices when they recited their code of ethics made an eerie echo throughout the JLSC as they stood their tallest stance.
Henrie said the group started out as eight students, all of which were eager, young and enthusiastic for the chance to dedicate their lives. After multiple trials, and one ethics and integrity class, the group lost one of their numbers and was then down to seven.
The graduation ceremony had 11 attending, with one unable to attend for a total of 12 graduating cadets. Among these were Kenneth Casey Alton, Erik Buchmiller, Ryan J. Crary, Andrea Haight, Nathan E. Hepworth, Zachary H. Palocios, Richard O. Pendleton, Michael Ray Perry, Aaron M. Powell, Justin W. Sherman Derick Anderson and Meranda Rose Turner.
One of Henrie’s most memorable classes was a Saturday when the class trained at the Fred House Corrections Academy and visited the Draper prison for a hands-on experience. The hope was that they would learn how to remove someone who doesn’t want to be removed from a cell, and how to handle themselves in unknown and random situations. Needless to say, the cadets were a bit frightened, but handled themselves in a most professional matter with, “nervous smiles.”
Finally the night ended with refreshments and the presentation of bullets which had the cadets’ names engraved on the side to signify that the only person who held their lives in their hands was themselves. Nathan Hepworth, the class president said their main duty was to, “die of old age.”