YODER — Twenty-five new law enforcement officers graduated from the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center (KLETC) on April 30 at a ceremony held in KLETC’s Integrity Auditorium. Officer Joshua Westerfield of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, & Tourism was the graduating class president. The speaker for the ceremony was chief of police for the Ottawa Police Department, Adam Weingartner. Rob McClarty, KLETC senior instructor of police, was the class coordinator for the 277th Basic Training Class.
Officer Luke Berning from the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism was recognized during the ceremony for his firearms proficiency as the class “Top Shot.” Officers Christopher Allison from the Kansas City, Kansas Community College Campus Police; Gene Berlin from the Riley County Police Department and Spencer Kochanowski from Salina Police Department walked, ran or biked more than 200 miles during their time at KLETC and exceeded the other physical requirements of the 200 Mile Club including push-ups, sit-ups and a timed run. Kochanowski also received the Fitness Award.
Graduates receive certificates of course completion from KLETC and Kansas law enforcement certification from the Kansas Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards and Training, the state’s law enforcement licensing authority. The training course fulfills the state requirement for law enforcement training. Classroom lectures and hands-on applications help train officers to solve the increasingly complex problems they face in the line of duty.
Established by the Kansas Legislature in 1968, KLETC trains the majority of municipal, county and state law enforcement officers in Kansas and oversees the training of the remaining officers at seven authorized and certified academy programs operated by local law enforcement agencies and the Kansas Highway Patrol.
About 300 officers enroll annually in KLETC 14-week basic training programs. KLETC offers continuing education and specialized training to over 10,000 Kansas officers each year. KLETC is located one mile west and one mile south of Yoder, near Hutchinson, and is a division of University of Kansas Lifelong & Professional Education.
The graduates, who began their training in January 2021, represented 19 municipal, county and state law enforcement agencies from across Kansas. Graduates are listed below by county and agency:
• Matthew Komma, Pittsburg Police Department
• A Josef Snooks, Ottawa Police Department
• Carla Burrell, Geary County Sheriff’s Office
• Herman Manning, Anthony Police Department
• Preston Barkdoll, Newton Police Department
• Kaitlin Brunner, Peabody Police Department
• Austin Sevier, Coffeyville Police Department
• Donald Joy, Chanute Police Department
• Jacob Jordan, Norton Police Department
• Ethan Wells, Osage County Sheriff’s Office
• Joshua Westerfield, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, & Tourism
• Luke Berning, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, & Tourism
• Joseph Lambert, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, & Tourism
• Austin O’Callaghan, Hutchinson Police Department
• Michael Bibb, Riley County Police Department
• Allison Rood, Riley County Police Department
• Gene Berlin, Riley County Police Department
• Brandon Gadia, Riley County Police Department
• Spencer Kochanowski, Salina Police Department
• Adam Murley, Liberal Police Department
• Austin McKeithan, Topeka Public Schools Police Department
• Charles Wilson, Washburn University Police
• Christopher Bowman, Woodson County Sheriff’s Office
• Jonathan Berry, Kansas City KS Community College Campus
• Christopher Allison, Kansas City KS Community College Campus.
About the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center
Established by the Kansas Legislature in 1968 as the central law enforcement training facility for the state, the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center (KLETC) serves as the headquarters for all law enforcement training in Kansas. Located at the former naval air station south of Hutchinson and west of Yoder in Reno County, Kansas, KLETC – a unit of the University of Kansas Lifelong & Professional Education – directly trains the overwhelming majority of municipal, county and state law enforcement officers in Kansas, and oversees, supervises and monitors the training of the remaining officers at eight authorized and certified academy programs operated by local law enforcement agencies and the Kansas Highway Patrol.
Photo: From left, Joshua Westerfield, class president for the 277th, and Darin Beck, KLETC executive director.