HELENA — On Friday, the Montana Law Enforcement Academy hosted a graduation ceremony for 56 new officers and debuted some much-needed renovations to the campus.
The graduation introduced law enforcement officers into various departments at the state, tribal, county, and city levels.
The course the new officers went through was 12 weeks long and was one of the only law enforcement academies that were able to successfully run amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
The changes to the campus include renovations of buildings ranging from 60 to nearly 100 years old. Renovations were made to areas like the cafeteria and dorms, as well as various upgrades to heating and ventilation systems, and various fixtures like lighting, carpets, and paint.
The Montana Department of Justice through the Office of Consumer Protection settlements and other funds contributed $9.2 million to the renovation.
Attorney General Tim Fox walked through the newly renovated buildings and said the reason the state invested the money into the academy was so the candidates going through it can have the best route for success.
"It's very important because we want to maintain the best-trained law enforcement officers in the country and we've been able to do that but these facilities are very old. They weren't originally made for this kind of training," said Fox.