Several dozen future law enforcement officers are training in Sitka.

Officials from the Department of Public Safety say this session's Alaska Law Enforcement Training, ALET, is the biggest class in about a decade. Academy Commander Lieutenant Chad Goeden says this class is 50 percent bigger than other classes in recent memory.

Goeden says he looks forward to the academy graduates to be spread across the state.

"We're certainly facing both some officer shortages and high crime rates, so I hope that this class starts to stem that tide and change things for the better."   

The 16-week para-military academy consists of over 1,000 hours of training. Recruits face intensive instruction designed to prepare entry-level police officers.  

Goeden says During training, recruits are not allowed to leave Baranoff Island. Some key lessons at the academy according to Goeden are putting the group first and learning how to pay attention to details.

When they graduate, ALET recruits will join police agencies across the state. Seventeen of the 47 recruits will join the Alaska State Troopers, five the Alaska Wildlife Troopers, three Court Service Officers, 10 to the Anchorage Airport Police and Fire Department, four Village Public Safety Officers, and eight more recruits to seven different municipal police departments.

Goeden says 12 of 47 recruits in this session are women-- a larger number than in past years. 

Academy instructors are Alaska State Troopers and Alaska Wildlife Troopers who have been promoted to the rank of Corporal.

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