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12/12/2012 10:50:00 AM
8 new recruits join Prescott Valley Police force
Front row from left, new officers Scott Rudolph, Jennifer Kempf and Shane Flynn, and back row from left, Wesley Dykeman, Marshall Field, Brian Hohrein and Matthew Cahill pose for a photo before NARTA grad ceremonies Thursday.
TribPhoto/Heidi Dahms Foster
Front row from left, new officers Scott Rudolph, Jennifer Kempf and Shane Flynn, and back row from left, Wesley Dykeman, Marshall Field, Brian Hohrein and Matthew Cahill pose for a photo before NARTA grad ceremonies Thursday.
TribPhoto/Heidi Dahms Foster
Alyssa DeFazio
Alyssa DeFazio
+ view more photos
The Northern Arizona Regional Training Academy in Prescott Valley graduated 27 new law enforcement officers in a ceremony Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012 at the Yavapai College Performance Hall in Prescott. Seven of the graduates are new Prescott Valley officers, plus one from the Glendale Community College Academy. Other new officers are from the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office, Flagstaff Police, Coconino County Sheriff's Office, Navajo Dept. of Public Safety, White Mountain Apache Police Dept. Camp Verde Marshal's Office, Cottonwood Police Dept. and the Wickenburg Police Dept. Heidi Dahms Foster shot these photos of the ceremony.
Heidi Dahms-Foster
Special to the Tribune

Seven new Prescott Valley police officers will enter field training after they were sworn in and received their badges in graduation ceremonies Dec. 6.

Another new officer, Alyssa DeFazio, graduated from Glendale Community College's law enforcement academy and also has joined the Prescott Valley Police force.

Officers Scott Rudolph, Jennifer Kempf, Shane Flynn, Wesley Dykeman, Marshall Field, Brian Hohrein and Matthew Cahill received their badges after graduation ceremonies of the Northern Arizona Regional Training Academy at the Yavapai College Performance Hall this past Thursday.

DeFazio moved to Arizona with her family when she was 4, the child of a retired Newburg, New York, police officer. An athletic teen, she participated in competitive karate and boxing, and traveled with the U.S. Boxing Team.

She also has other relatives in law enforcement, and she became interested in pursuing a career in police work.

"I was turning 21 and got to the point that I had been competing for a long time. I wanted to focus on my career and my life. All I did is go to school and compete since I was a little kid, so I was ready to grow and move on," she said.

DeFazio already was in training in Glendale when she saw the advertisement that Prescott Valley was recruiting officers.

"I was with my family my whole life and I wanted to go away somewhere else and start on my own. I saw the ad online and said 'I want to go there and see what I can do.'"

She tested in Prescott Valley and found the physical testing difficult at first in the higher altitude, but she passed all of her tests to join the PV force, and graduated from the Glendale academy shortly before the NARTA graduation.

DeFazio said she loves animals so she hopes at some time to enter the K9 program.

"I'm really happy to be up here and starting my career," she said. "I'm real excited to get started."

DeFazio attended Thursday's ceremony to see her fellow officers graduate.

The NARTA graduates met for inspection before the ceremony, and members of the NARTA administration, along with each graduating officer's chief, walked through the ranks and personally congratulated the recruits.

They then marched into the hall, where a full house of family and friends greeted them with cheers.

Secretary of State Ken Bennett was the keynote speaker for the event. He reminisced about a few minor encounters with police officers in his younger years, and cautioned the graduating officers to keep a balance between their careers and their private lives.

NARTA Class Sgt. Jon Brambila noted that Class 33 was one of the highest scoring overall academically.

Judge Anna Mary Glaab swore in the new officers, and they marched outside, where spouses, family members or friends pinned their badges and offered congratulations.

PV Police Chief Bill Fessler said five to six officers leave the department each year for retirement or other reasons, and with the town's hiring freeze easing, the department was able to replace some of those positions. He said the new officers have exceeded expectations.

"We always look for the highest caliber of individuals, and with the graduates from this class that desire was fullfilled," he said.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, December 17, 2012
Article comment by:

Wouldn't we be short 25? I would like someone to write a story that tells the whole story. How many officers do we have in the Dept? How many are on the SWAT team? Why do we have a SWAT team? Is this place that dangerous? Why so many canine units?

Posted: Saturday, December 15, 2012
Article comment by: Gunny Hightower

Well if you have been following the town as closely in the past as you are now you would know that they were under manned, they have been holding off on hiring due to budget. This 8 they juries just takes them back to where they were in 2000. I welcome these new Officer and am I glad that PVPD is able to send help to the Officers on the streets.

Posted: Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Article comment by: We hire 8 police people at the same time

Were we dangerously understaffed or are we now tremendously overstaffed. This immediately adds in access of $300,000 to the budget when you include support vehicles and other indirect costs. I believe this situation should include the "rest of the story"

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