Photo by Richard Thompson/The News
Officer Michael D’Elia was welcomed back by the Murray State Police Department with open arms after 20 weeks of Law Enforcement Basic Training.
On April 12, the MSU PD posted a photo of D’Elia holding his Coordinator’s Award certificate with a caption that read: “Join us in congratulating Officer Michael D’Elia on his graduation from Law Enforcement Basic Training, Class 500. Michael was also awarded the Coordinator’s Award for best demonstrating a positive attitude and class values. Welcome home and congratulations.”
The Coordinator’s Award was awarded to D’Elia based on his performance throughout basic training taking into account his academic and leadership skills, physical fitness and attitude. The coordinator of the program chose the recipient of this award.
“I was proud of him,” MSU Police Chief James Herring said. “Getting to know him before he went to the academy and understanding his work ethic and his attitude toward the work, it didn’t surprise me when I had heard that he had won that award.”
D’Elia’s supervisor at the MSU PD, Field Operations Captain Ryan Orr, said D’Elia receiving the Coordinator’s Award shows he cares about the job.
“It shows that he put a lot of effort into the academy while he was there,” he said. “He didn’t just try to pass but he tried to excel at everything he did. That just shows his drive and his want to do the job.”
D’Elia was hired by the MSU PD last August and did some training prior to leaving for the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training in Richmond, Kentucky. He left for the 20-week training program Nov. 4 and returned on April 11.
“I have always wanted to be a police officer even from a young age,” D’Elia said. “I loved the fact you could help people and be involved in the community. As I grew older, the idea of it being a career never went away from my heart.”
According to the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training website, “The 928-hour curriculum is a mentally and physically demanding challenge. Using a multi-faceted approach, recruits receive instruction in law enforcement in a disciplined environment stressing the Basic Training Creed.”
D’Elia said the DOCJT was a great experience and the instruction he received was amazing but being away for so long was tough on him.
During their basic training, trainees are required to live in a residential setting.
“It is very hard to leave your family, friends and life,” he said. “Sleeping in a tiny bed and being on the other side of the state an hour ahead of everyone wondering what’s happening back in Murray five hours away, it’s a hard thing for anyone at any age to do.”
D’Elia said he was able to come home on the weekends and spend quality time with his family.
“Everyone was super supportive while I was away,” he said.
Now back at Murray State, D’Elia will have to go through field training with another officer before he is able to patrol on his own. Field training usually lasts about 13 weeks.
Orr said they are expecting to get D’Elia out on his own by late July.
“We are ecstatic to have him here,” he said. “ We can not wait to get him through his field training and get him out and working with everybody. I think he is an excellent addition to the Murray State Police Department.”