Utah Department of Corrections

Please congratulate and welcome members of Class 276, who graduated on December 3 from our Pre-Service Training Academy!

There were 46 cadets in the class, ranging in age from 21 to 46. A majority of the new correctional officers (30) will be coming to work for the Utah Department of Corrections. The remaining 16 officers are joining six different counties across Utah: Davis, Duchesne, Iron, Tooele, Utah and Weber.

Utah County Sheriff James Tracy, who gave the keynote address, said the values that are the cornerstone of a successful career haven't changed since his own graduation in 1977: professionalism, responsibility and personal integrity.

Tracy said correctional officers are joining the law enforcement family that acts as a shield — the thin blue line — between good and evil, right and wrong. He told the new officers they are an important part of protecting our communities and our way of life.

Shannon Hoyt, class speaker, reminded the graduates of their first day at the academy when they were nervous and scared about the 14 weeks of training before them. Over that time, the class built trust, respect and friendships; he urged them to promise to be there for one another as they begin their careers in earnest.

"We are entering a career field that needs us and needs us at our best," he said.

Executive Director Rollin Cook encouraged the graduates to adopt a resilient mindset and begin setting new goals for themselves that provide opportunities for growth and help them "strive to be a better you."

Four cadets received awards for their performance during the Academy. They were: Andrew McKeon (academic and firearms proficiency); Ben Spencer (physical fitness); Ileana Pendley (professional conduct); and Johnathan Major (outstanding trainee).