KOSCIUSKO — A graduation ceremony was held at the Kosciusko County courthouse this evening, Saturday, May 12, for 19 law enforcement officers who completed training through the Kosciusko County Reserve Academy.
Officers from 13 departments in or near Kosciusko County completed four months of training. The training included physical tactics, active shooter situations, domestic violence and traffic stops.
Law enforcement departments with graduating officers include Bourbon, Milford, Kosciusko County Sheriff’s, Mentone, Grace College Campus Safety, Winona Lake, Bremen, Syracuse, Claypool, Silver Lake, and Marshall County Sheriff’s Reserves.
The keynote speaker at the graduation was Doug Fahl, a former Kosciusko County deputy prosecuting attorney. He began his speech by thanking a packed room of the graduating officers’ family members.
“You all have made sacrifices by allowing your loved ones to spend time in the line of duty, away from you,” said Fahl.
Fahl also told officers to always remember to keep cool, no matter what the circumstances may be.
“You’re the ones who are the role models for the kids out here,” Fahl said. “Always be safe.”
Todd Eby, a member of the graduating class, also gave a speech. He encouraged the officers to always try and do something every day to improve their skill sets.
“And remember, you’re not allowed to quit fighting and you’re not allowed to die,” said Eby.
Corporal Jim Smith, reserve academy coordinator, also addressed the graduates.
“Officers, I challenge each of you to take a look at your personal mission statement and always live by it,” said Smith. “Always honor the badge. Losing is never an option.”
Each graduate received a certificate of completion, with Judge David Cates administering the oath of office. Four unique awards were also presented at the ceremony.
Charles Bird III, Milford Police Department, was presented with both the valedictorian award and Jeffrey B. Shaw Memorial Award.
Todd Eby, Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department, was presented with the Phillip D. Hochstetler Memorial Award.
Charles Evan Smith, Grace College Campus Safety, was presented with the Terry L. Swoverland Memorial Award.