By Tarah Heupel, police spokesperson
This week seven new police officers began their training with the RCPD. The officers begin their classroom training this week. In August, they will begin an intensive 13-week law enforcement certification program at the George S. Mickelson Criminal Justice Center in Pierre.
After graduating from the academy in November, the new officers will be certified to work in law enforcement in South Dakota. All of the officers will then be required to complete the Department's 18-week Police Officer Field Training Program before receiving a permanent shift assignment for the remainder of their 18-month probationary period.
The summer 2013 new recruit class includes:
Officer John Isakson is from Harrisburg and graduated from Blair High School in Blair, Neb. He earned his bachelor's degree in psychology from Northwestern College in St. Paul, and recently served as a teacher and counselor at the STAR Academy in Custer.
Officer Lucas Lang was raised in Rapid City, and graduated from Central High School. He will complete his bachelor's degree in criminal justice from the University of South Dakota-University Center this fall, and most recently worked at the Comfort Inn in Rapid City.
Officer Anthony Meirose graduated from Hartington High School in Hartington, Neb. He earned his bachelor's degree in criminal justice from the University of South Dakota, and most recently worked as a motor carrier inspector for the South Dakota Highway Patrol.
Officer Sonny Melanson graduated from Marshwood High School in Eliot, Maine. He served 20 years in the United States Air Force, and recently retired as a Weapons Section Chief at Ellsworth Air Force Base.
Officer Robert Neisen is from Coon Rapids, Minn. He graduated from Coon Rapids High School and earned his bachelor's degree in sociology from Northern State University. He most recently worked at Winfield Solutions in Aberdeen.
Officer Joshua Russell is from St. Onge. He graduated from Spearfish High School, and earned his associate's degree in criminal justice from the University of Maryland. He served 10 years as a special agent with the United State Air Force.
Officer Michael Wollman is from Bonesteel. He graduated from Bonesteel-Fairfax High School and earned his bachelor's degree in biology from the University of South Dakota. He recently worked as an intelligence analyst for the South Dakota Army National Guard.