Thin blue line gets thicker

The thin blue line got a little bit thicker today as a new class of recruits graduated through the ranks.

After sixteen weeks of training at the Northern Michigan University Regional Police Academy, twenty-three aspiring officers, hailing from Bark River to Petoskey, took the next step toward becoming part of Michigan’s police force.

The Gary L. Walker Class was awarded for merit in several fields including physical fitness, top gun, and academic achievement

This year’s class adopted a motto that they plan to carry with him every day throughout their career: Our dedication is only as strong as our discipline.

“We were very disciplined right from day one through week sixteen. It’s important that we keep that dedication, that discipline as law enforcement officers because in this profession we’re constantly under the microscope. Every action that we make will be judged,” noted Seth Bjorne of Ishpeming, the Gary L. Walker Class’ 2nd Squad Leader. “It’s important to have proper discipline both in uniform and out of uniform. I think that our motto held tremendous weight during our academy and I think it will hold weight for the rest of our careers.”

Sheriffs and sergeants from departments spanning the U.P. were on hand to impart a final few words of wisdom, after spending the past four months instructing their future colleagues from sun up to sun down.

“I have to say that we put in some pretty long days. We had physical training at 6:00 a.m and we wouldn’t get out of the academy until maybe six o’clock at night. And, the day never ended there. We had to prepare our uniforms, shine our boots so they were immaculate for Captain Lemire, and do some studying for our big tests. They’re definitely long days. It requires a lot of hard work and dedication, but it was well worth it in the long run. I guess you could say I’m looking forward to getting a job,” Bjorne added smiling.

Now that their training is complete, recruits will have the opportunity to try and work at any agency in the state. But, they won’t officially receive their license until they are hired on.