The Nome Police Department is getting back two of its officers after they completed 16 weeks of training at the Alaska Department of Public Safety Academy. Both men were part of the state academy’s latest graduating class of 33 law enforcement officials.
NPD’s Austin Martino and Jonathan Jachim were officially recognized for completing their Alaska Law Enforcement Training in Sitka Friday afternoon [June 12th].
Due to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent social distancing restrictions, only the graduates and a few of their family members were physically in attendance for the ceremony.
However, hundreds of people participated or attended virtually using online avenues like social media. Governor Mike Dunleavy shared his full support for the newly pinned officers through a pre-recorded video message.
“Whether you serve as a Trooper, a Wildlife Trooper, a community police officer; policing Alaska’s 600,000 square miles of rugged wilderness, dotted with individualistic communities is a task few are cut out for. If that wasn’t enough, you are entering the force at a time of unprecedented global disruption. But I know each one of you is prepared to face these tests and more, because you, like many heroes who have stood here in years past, represent the very best of Alaska.”– Gov. Mike Dunleavy
Prior to Martino, Jachim, and every other graduate having their name called; Colonel Bryan Barlow, Director of the Alaska State Troopers, also noted that this class was the first one to complete their training during a global pandemic.
Perhaps even more significant than that, Barlow points out, these graduates are going into a career field marred by rising tension and distrust between the public and law enforcement.
“I recognize that it may be a bit intimidating to join the ranks of law enforcement during a time when some are calling for police departments to be defunded. That being said, I do strongly believe that in general, in a general sense, especially here in Alaska, we have enjoyed the support, the deep support of our public for a long long time.”– AST Colonel Bryan Barlow
Barlow would go on to say that these law enforcement officials have to show the Alaskan public that their continued support is still well-placed.
Before newly trained Nome Police officers Austin Martino and Jonathan Jachim are able to get that chance to engage with the public, they must first pass the COVID-19 test and do their quarantine.
Image at top: Former Nome Police Officer Patrick Octuck, who served the City of Nome for a number of years, is currently retired from the Nome Police Department. Photo shared by Octuck’s family via public domain.