18 New Recruits Graduate from Blackhawk’s Law Enforcement Recruit Academy

May 19, 2023


Blackhawk Technical College held a special ceremony Friday to recognize the efforts of 18 students who completed training through the college’s Law Enforcement Recruit Academy.

This was the 90th class to graduate from the academy, which provides the basic law enforcement training required to become a law enforcement officer in Wisconsin.

“Be prepared and willing to learn more. And this isn’t just at the beginning of your career – but your entire career,” Troy Egger, Academy Director, said to the graduates.

Riley Bendorf, class speaker, said this academy has created lasting friendships.

“I knew it would be and will be a lot of work to enter this field, and thankfully, I’ve had the support of my classmates along the way,” said Bendorf, who is a 2016 Parker High School graduate and earned his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

Lt. Richard LeFeber received the Instructor of Excellence Award from the graduates, and Chief Deputy Craig Strouse of the Rock County Sheriff’s Office was the keynote speaker.

Three students also were recognized for four different awards of excellence:

Academic Achievement Award: Dominic Ehrke, Wautoma Police Department

This award is given to the student with the highest achievement for each of the three end-of-phase tests. The class had a 90 percent average. Erhke had about 96 percent.

Outstanding Physical Fitness Award: Riley Bendorf, Rock County Sherriff’s Office

To graduate, each student has to pass a physical readiness test. This award is given to the student who demonstrated outstanding physical fitness and also showed the most effort in the 32 hours of physical fitness throughout the past 18 weeks.

Ryan Copeland Marksmanship Award Recipient: Kenneth Gigstead IV, City of Beloit Police Department

This award is named after Officer Ryan Copeland, a 2013 academy graduate who was killed in an on-duty traffic crash in 2015 and is given to a student who is ranked top in his class for marksmanship.

Terry Fell Leadership Award: Riley Bendorf

This award is named after Terry Fell, who was the academy director for 10 years and former City of Beloit Police Chief, Rock County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy and Rock County Board member. Fell’s legacy is of leadership, honor and sense of duty. The award is given to a student who embodies those characteristics.

Members of Class 23-90:

  • Tyler Bailey, City of Beloit Police Department
  • Riley Bendorf, Rock County Sheriff’s Office.
  • Trevor Bierman, Oregon Police Department
  • Harrison Creed, Broadhead Police Department
  • William Dill III, Janesville Police Department
  • Dominic Ehrke, Wautoma Police Department
  • Cameron Fiez, Green County Sheriff’s Office
  • Maya Freedman, Pre-Service
  • Kenneth Gigstead IV, City of Beloit Police Department
  • Nicole Grace, Green County Sheriff’s Office
  • Joshua Hardacre, Green County Sheriff’s Office
  • Carmen Korwin, Green County Sheriff’s Office
  • Carter Losby, Monona Police Department
  • Caitlin Mau, Janesville Police Department
  • Steve Myher, Town of Beloit Police Department
  • Alex Seichter, Oregon Police Department
  • Kayla Tanner, Jefferson Police Department
  • Alyssa York, Pre-Service

About the Law Enforcement Basic Recruit Academy

Blackhawk’s Law Enforcement Basic Recruit Academy prepares students for certification as a law enforcement officer. Over a course of 720 instructional hours, recruits focus on the theories of law enforcement needed to be a sworn member of law enforcement in Wisconsin. In addition to the class instruction and hands-on practical exercises, recruits spend at least a half-hour of outside study time for every hour of class time. Upon completion, recruits are eligible for certification with the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board. Learn more at
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