BAXTER SPRINGS - Baxter Springs Police Department welcomes its newest edition to the force, as Justin Butler recently graduated from the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center. Butler was one of 63 officers from across the state who were congratulated by Kansas City, Kansas, Chief of Police Terry Ziegler during their graduation from KLETC on June 23.

The new officers were members of the 245th basic training class at the center. Located one mile west and one mile south of Yoder, near Hutchinson, the center is a division of University of Kansas Professional and Continuing Education.

The graduates, who began their training March 20, represented 47 municipal, county and state law enforcement agencies from across Kansas. Butler was the sole officer from Cherokee County in this year's graduating class.

"We would like to congratulate Officer Justin Butler on his graduation today from the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center," said Baxter Springs Chief of Police Bill Adams in an announcement. "We are very proud of him and know he will be a great addition to our department and our community. We wish him all the best and many happy and safe years."

Graduates received certificates of course completion from KLETC and Kansas law enforcement certification from the Kansas Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards and Training, the state’s law enforcement licensing authority. The training course fulfills the state requirement for law enforcement training. Classroom lectures and hands-on applications help train officers to solve the increasingly complex problems they face in the line of duty.

Established by the Kansas Legislature in 1968, the center trains the majority of municipal, county and state law enforcement officers in Kansas and oversees the training of the remaining officers at seven authorized and certified academy programs operated by local law enforcement agencies and the Kansas Highway Patrol.

About 300 officers enroll annually in the 14-week basic training program. The center offered continuing education and specialized training to as many as 5,600 Kansas officers each year. Funding for the training center is generated from court docket fees from municipal and state courts. No funds from the state’s general revenue are used to operate the center