HELENA – Students and staff at the Montana Law Enforcement Academy are just days away from another graduation.

The current class took time out of their busy ramp up to Friday’s event by giving back to the community.

With just days left before the 51 members of the latest MLEA class graduate Friday, students and staff decided to hold a Red Cross blood drive.

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“It’s just nice to help out, in a different way,” said Kaitlin Jones, HPD Office and MLEA student.

Each donor went through a confidential intake process before they were taken to one of six blood draw tables where they were offered apple, orange or cranberry juice as well as water. Red Cross phlebotomists then prepped each donor to make sure the poke of the needle wasn’t uncomfortable.

“The students got together and said how can we help the community?” said Glen Stinar, MLEA Administrator. “They decided to give blood so that’s what’s going on today.”

“It’s just the little things that we can give to our community,” said Officer Jones. “We are public servants and members of the community.”

MLEA officials say teaching students how to give back to their communities gives them a sense of fulfillment that goes beyond just catching bad guys.

“We see a lot of bad things, respond to a lot of tragedies,” said Officer Jones.
“And doing little things like this helps out.”

“It’s not always about stopping bad people from doing bad things, or dealing with victims of crime,” said Stinar. “It’s about what can we do as a law enforcement entity to make things really better.”

Red Cross officials said they gathered 14 units of blood today at the academy.

The latest MLEA class will graduate this Friday at the Helena Regional Airport.