Story by SrA Jonathan Valdes on 07/03/2019After six months at the Anchorage Police Department's Officer Academy, two Airmen from the 673d Security Forces Squadron graduated the course June 6, 2019.
Staff Sgt. Jacob Sleik and Senior Airman Joshua Worley, patrolmen at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, were the first security forces troops to be chosen to participate in the academy.
With little knowledge of what they were about to experience, the Airmen prepared to the best of their abilities.
"It was very challenging and a fun experience at the same time," Sleik said. "Any expectation we might have had was met and definitely exceeded."
This course further expanded the knowledge both Airmen already had, and gave them an opportunity to learn new things.
"Learning more in-depth about law enforcement, officer safety, tactics, firearms techniques, and other ways of accomplishing goals is a great addition to our tool belts," Sleik said.
Sleik also mentioned learning about Crisis Intervention Team, a 40-hour training which emphasizes helping people with suicidal thoughts or mental health disabilities such as schizophrenia, bipolar, etc. This is the first time the academy has provided the 40-hour course, which is certified by the state.
When it came to the Airmen's learning process, they said the academy environment helped them succeed.
"The training was amazing because of the staff," Worley said. "They are very passionate about what they teach and train, and they have a wealth of knowledge that I have benefited from tremendously. Their training staff is one of a kind and they are very genuine people."
Sleik also added how dedicated each member of the staff was.
"They came in on their days off to help us and ensure we had the proper training," Sleik said. "They sacrificed their time to make sure we were taken care of."
The amount of effort the academy staff puts out on a daily basis didn't go unnoticed.
"I witnessed how hard the Anchorage Police Academy trains and how dedicated they are to protecting and serving the community," Worley said. "They are a top-notch police force."
The extensive academy gave the Airmen a more in-depth understanding of law enforcement.
"It added and reinforced skill sets," Sleik said. "Not only did we benefit, but our peers will benefit as well. We can share all this knowledge either when we are working or during our off-time training. Furthermore, that knowledge will keep expanding when Airmen out process to other bases."
This academy is a unique opportunity for those who are selected for it.
"I would absolutely recommend it, 100 percent," Sleik said. "It wasn't easy and you have to be committed to it. It challenges your limits in every way."
Currently, two other 673d SFS members are enrolled in the academy. APD and JBER hope to build a long lasting partnership through this program that not only benefits the service members, but the community as a whole.