Sixteen new officers graduate from the Anchorage Police Academy


by Jessica Gruenling

ANCHORAGE, Ak-- Honesty, courage, bravery, and commitment, are some of the attributes these new police officers will need to be succesful in their careers. 

"I really just wanted to make a difference. This is something I've been working towards since I was probably in middle school and every accomplishment I've made is just one step closer to my final goal so this is just a stepping stone," Bonnie Charles, Academy graduate. 
Bonnie Charles and her fifteen other classmates are the newest members of the Anchorage Police Department. A department that Chief Mark Mew says has hit bottom and is on its way back up. 
"We have skinnied back on some special units, detectives,  traffic, some other areas like that to try and keep the patrol roster up, so we've done that as well. So that's how we've been dealing with it, hopefully we get our patrol staffing back up maybe in the next year or so maybe we can start beefing those specialty units back up again," Chief Mark Mew, APD.  
APD faced hardship last year when incentives were a cause for double attition.  
"So where we got the double whammy last year is that they got the incentive to go by a certain date in January, so we had double attrition last year, and as I mentioned recruiting didn't happen to go as well with this class, so we lost some ground in 2013," Chief Mew. 
Chief Mew says the problem was never lack of interest or recruiting, but an outdated test that may have been the cause for candidates fazing out.
A new test has been implemented that will hopefully help find the disconnect. 
"It's more modern. We thought we'd try that and see if more people get through that first test. It seems like the anomaly we had with this class we won't have in the what will be the 2014 academy," Chief Mew.               
As Charles and the new officers head in to field training there is one piece of advice from her grandfather that will help them concur the job.
"Every person that you encounter, whether it be a classmate, an officer, or someone in the community you just have to treat everyone like it's your family member and how you would want law enforcement to treat them," Charles.  

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