“It is very much a hard class,” Johnson said. “It’s not one where you’re going to sit and relax, and listen to someone drone on all day.” The class is a full 40 hours over a week, and last month’s had 20 students from Nebraska, Wyoming and Colorado.
The field training officer is an important position, Johnson said, as in today’s world there is a desperate need for high quality officers who care about their communities and do a great job. The only way to get that is to have people who know how to train them well.
This was the first time Torrington has hosted such training, though Johnson hopes it won’t be the last. It also helps his department, as he has a couple new officers coming on. Looking at the three-state area of Nebraska, Wyoming and South Dakota, he said, it’s difficult to get training here so it’s beneficial to be a host.
Originally from Wyoming, Stolley attended the University of Wyoming. “When I first started college I was wanting to peruse a career in physical therapy,” she stated. “However, I was not a big fan of some of the science classes and quickly decided it wasn’t for me. After that I did a semester undeclared and took a wide variety of classes, some of which were Criminal Justice courses. I really enjoyed the CJ classes, and decided to choose that as my major. While in school, I ended up doing an internship at the police department in Gillette. The internship was awesome and I learned a lot, but more importantly it confirmed that I had chosen the right path for myself with law enforcement.” She’s been with the Chadron PD since January of 2016.