Tribal member, Jesse Vigil, is looking forward to his career as an officer of the Southern Ute Police Department after completing fifteen weeks of vigorous training at the Indian Police Academy in Artesia, NM.
Vigil graduated from the Academy on Monday, Sept. 14 and was met with praise from his family and associates.
Ray Coriz, Chief of Police for the Southern Ute Police Department, congratulated the honored class.
“It’s an honor to speak at this ceremony,” he said. “These men and women have completed fifteen weeks of the most physically demanding training … What I thought to speak to them about was the [importance] of the uniform. During my time here, taking care of your uniform was a daunting task. I challenged myself to make it look better than what it previously looked … It tells you what kind of morale an officer has.”
Vigil spoke about his accomplishment with hopes to inspire.
“I’m happy to graduate from the Academy,” he said. “It was tough, but I have learned a ton. I thank everyone back home who supported me and my family.”
Vigil was honored the badge in front of his family and recruits, becoming the most recent Southern Ute tribal member to successfully complete the academy, Southern Ute Police Department Lieutenant Chris Naranjo said.
“I couldn’t be more proud of him. He showed up fresh out of high school and wanted to learn. He’s going to make a good example for the youth,” Naranjo said.
Councilwoman Amy J. Barry additionally praised Vigil on his achievement.
“Today is his special day. He’ll be a role model and motivator for our young people in our community.”
Vigil’s girlfriend, Angela Paul, showed excitement for his accomplishment.
“I’m really proud of him. I’m glad he succeeded and we are proud of him. We know he will make other people proud.”
Tara Vigil, Jesse’s mother, showed exuberance for his successes.
“Words can’t explain how happy and excited I am. He stuck with it and we encouraged him. I hope younger people will look up to him and see the other things they’re capable of doing.”