Thirteen certified as peace officers after completing 21-week academy

Graduates and training officers pictured left to right: (back row) Sgt. Bond, Sgt. Bishop, Deputy Kreuger, Deputy Ostertag, Ranger Ashkie, Officer Johnson, Deputy Shreeve, Officer Moore, Detective Eberline, Sgt. Sargent. (front row) Officer Tagler, Deputy Foster, Deputy Walker, Officer Perez, Deputy Nowak, Officer Naranjo, Officer Cluff and Officer Brewer.

SNOWFLAKE — The “Thin Blue Line” in Northeastern Arizona is a little stronger with the swearing in Dec. 12 of 13 new peace officers who completed the intensive 21-week Arizona Peace Officer Standards for Training (AzPOST) training at Northland Pioneer College’s Northeastern Arizona Law Enforcement Training Academy (NALETA).

Navajo County Superior Court Presiding Judge Michala M. Ruechel, administered the oath to new Navajo County Sheriff’s Office Deputies David Nowak, Nathan Ostertag, James Shreeve; to Apache County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Daniel Walker; Holbrook Police Officer Joshua Tagler; Show Low Police Officer Ismael Naranjo; Snowflake/Taylor Police Officers Richard Brewer, Loren Cluff and Dakota More; Winslow Police Officers John Johnson and Nicholas Perez; San Carlos Recreation and Wildlife Officer Zachary Ashkie, and Greenlee County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Austin Foster.

“NALETA is a true partnership with regional law enforcement agencies, who assign sworn officers as instructors at no charge to the college,” explained Jon Wisner, NPC’s Director of Public Safety Education.

Guiding the recruits through the academy were Class Supervisor Sgt. David Sargent (WPD) and Recruit Training Officers (RTO), Deputy Chad Kreuger (NCSO), Detective Troy Eberline (SLPD), and Sgt. Ty Bond and Sgt. Trett Bishop (St. Johns PD). RTO Krueger presented the Physical Fitness and Top Recruit award to Officer Naranjo, the Firearms award to Officer Ashkie, the top Academic award to Deputy Nowak and Deputy Walker received the top defensive driving award.

On hand to witness the ceremony were college administrators, law enforcement representatives from throughout the region, as well as family and friends of the recruits. Photos from the ceremony are posted on Northland Pioneer College’s Facebook page.

Pipers from Timber Mesa Fire and Medical District played as the Color Guard from the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office presented the colors to open the ceremony.

“If you are interested in becoming a certified Arizona peace officer, contact the agency you would like to work for to begin the process, which can take four to eight weeks,” urged Wisner. “By recruiting and training locally, the agencies know the potential recruit already has ties to the community, through family and housing. This has been shown to improve the success rate for cadets,” Wisner continued.

NALETA Class 2020-1 is scheduled to begin Jan. 13. Centrally located at the Northeast Arizona Training Center (Jake Flake Emergency Services Institute), in Taylor, NALETA is a fully accredited AzPOST “closed” academy. This means students can only enroll under the sponsorship of a law enforcement agency.

At a minimum, a prospective recruit must be at least 21 years of age by the end of the academy and be able to pass a variety of testing processes, including physical agility, firearms and written tests as well as a background investigation and polygraph.

“To succeed, a recruit must be dedicated and willing to endure the intensive academic and physical training required,” explained Wisner.

Further information concerning AzPOST eligibility requirements can be found online at by clicking on the “Certification Process” link in the top navigation bar, or by contacting the police or sheriff’s office where you would like to begin your law enforcement career. Tribal officers, game and fish wardens and agricultural inspectors are also sworn peace officers.

Information can also be obtained by contacting Jon Wisner, NPC’s director of public safety education and NALETA director at 928-536-6265 or by emailing, or on NPC’s website at

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