GREAT FALLS – The Great Falls Police Department welcomed five new officers into the family Thursday morning.
Hayden Meek, Stephanie Kazior, Tanner Lee, Patrick Levitt, and Clay Bott were sworn in by Judge Steven Bolstad.
Chief David Bowen began the ceremony with speaking about the code of ethics.
“There is a phrase we are going to talk about, and it is ‘I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all,’ within the code of ethics. The word unsullied in its scene is untarnished, untainted, and unbroken. That is a pretty lofty ideal and I get it, we are human,” Bowne said.
Bowen says the code of ethics is more than just words— it is very important to what these officers do in their lives.
Meek was given badge number 341. He was born and raised in Great Falls. This is not the first time he has tested to become a police officer, but he had the drive to test again. He was also a GFPD civilian traffic investigator before making it onto the force.
Kazior was given badge 342. She is originally from Illinois and has a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies.She recently received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Marine Corps at the rank of Corporal.
Lee received badge 343. Lee was also born and raised in Great Falls. He has a bachelor’s degree in animal science and is a veteran of the United States Army.
Levitt received badge 344. He was born in Kalispell but moved to Great Falls. He found his calling to be an officer after he attended the GFPD Citizen’s and Master Citizen’s Academies.
Bott was given badge 345. He comes from Miles City. He was hired as a warden with Montana, Fish, Wildlife and Parks. After two years, he became an officer with the Miles City Police Department.
Judge Steven Bolstad says that these five young officers are filling a gap within the Great Falls Police Department.
Before the Bolstad sworn the officers in, he told a story about being a teacher in a small town in Montana.
“I did not know anyone in this small town. I was actually invited to a family dinner over Thanksgiving because I had to stay for coaching. At this time I never really thought about it, but it meant a lot to me,” Bolstad said.
He added that he wanted the audience to remember how important it is to give support to the young officers.
He said the smallest things others do for them can have a big impact later on.
“Mr. Bott here,” Bolstad said, referring to one of the officers, “his family was the one that invited me to Thanksgiving years ago.”
Meek, Kazior, Lee, and Levitt will head to the Montana Law Enforcement Academy on Monday.
Reporting by Margaret DeMarco for MTN News