Originally published Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at 06:00a.m.

Class 44 NARTA graduates and their agencies are

Camp Verde Marshal’s Office

Hanna M. Bower

Kyle R. Handis

Dylan M. Murphy

Coconino County Sheriff’s Office

Daniel E. Swartzendruber

Benjamin N. Thrailkill

Flagstaff Police Department

Jacob W. DeVries

George A. Holberg

Page Police Department

Dylan M. Williams

Payson Police Department

Laura Linkey

Pinal County Sheriff’s Office

Jacob Montoya

Megan Nicole Strawser

Matthew S. Taylor

Prescott Police Department

Natanael Amavizca

Adam M. Camacho

Tyler G. Do

Johnathan Gahr

Zachariah N. Sugahara

Prescott Valley Police Department

Megan M. Haas

St. John’s Police Department

Ty Nolan Blank

Williams Police Department

Thomas S. Sanders

Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office

Thomas A. Baldwin

Travis Blankenship

Elijah M. Smith

For 23 men and women, graduation from the Northern Arizona Regional Training Academy has made it more likely they will “become somebody’s hero and not even know it.”

The latest group of NARTA graduates heard that encouraging message from Sedona Police Chief David McGill, guest speaker during an academy graduation ceremony May 24 at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center.

McGill praised the newly certified police officers for accepting the call to public service, calling them “incredibly noble people because they put others before themselves.” The chief described the challenges the new officers will face, but reminded them of the immeasurable good police officers do — earning them “lives of significance.”

Elijah Smith, president of NARTA Class 44 and a new Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office deputy, urged his classmates to stay true to their class motto: “Pray for the best. Train for the worst” by “remaining steadfast in your faith as well as your training.”

NARTA graduates beamed with pride for completing the rigorous 20-week police academy currently housed at YC’s Prescott Valley Center. “This is a day I’ll never forget for sure,” said Hanna Bower, who is going to work for the Camp Verde Marshal’s Office and has been dreaming of being a police officer since she was 6 years old. “I can remember saying it,” she said, adding that graduating from NARTA “feels like nothing ever before. It’s big.”

Adam Camacho, a newly-sworn Prescott Police officer, decided on a law enforcement career while attending Prescott High School. On graduation day, he said he was feeling “excited and nervous at the same time” but “ready to put into practice what I learned at NARTA out in the real world.”

NARTA is moving to new facilities at the YC Prescott campus next year. College President Dr. Penelope Wills, in remarks during the graduation ceremony, applauded the college’s governing board for approving the money to expand the training facility as part of the overall college budget.

The move to the Prescott campus, she said, “is an opportunity for all of our public safety personnel throughout Northern Arizona to be trained in an updated facility that will help all of our communities be safer, and I applaud that.”

Information and photos provided by Yavapai College.