The Pocatello Police Department welcomed eight new employees and recognized a pair of veterans during a Thursday morning ceremony at City Hall.
The department swore in six officers: Morgan Hansen, Edwin Norton, Joshua Gauna, Jacob Martin, Ryen Smith and Bryce Mickelsen.
Chief Roger Schei also commenced with a new tradition of publicly welcoming support staff. The department introduced records clerk Amanda Clark, who started her job on June 17, and Mandy Keller, a dispatcher who joined the department on July 15.
“They’re just as important as the sworn officers — one department, one team,” Schei said of including new staff in the ceremony.
Officer Lance Cartwright was honored for recently receiving the Idaho Victims Witness Associations’s Service Award, and Sgt. Scott Matson was recognized for earning his Supervisor Certificate.
Schei described Cartwright as being an “example of our mission and our values.” Bannock County Victim Witness Coordinator Tamela Manhart explained she nominated Cartwright for the statewide award based on comments from victims who have singled him out for doing a good job.
“We see victims here every single day and we hear their stories, not just about what happened that night or that day but also how the officer treated them,” Manhart said.
Schei advised the new officers to engage with members of the community and strive to be approachable and visible.
He described his new hires as a “well-rounded group of individuals that come to us with different levels of experience.”
Mickelsen was born in Idaho Falls and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2013, while serving with the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division.
”He loves the structure of the military and wanted to find something similar after getting out,” Schei said.
Mickelsen worked for the Idaho Falls Police Department for six months before joining the Pocatello department. Mickelsen will commute from Idaho Falls to Pocatello for work. He completed Idaho State University’s law enforcement program.
”I like the department. I like the town of Pocatello,” Mickelsen said.
Morgan Hansen was born in Rexburg and graduated from Highland High School in Pocatello. She has a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies from ISU, in addition to a certificate in law enforcement. She graduated from the National Emergency Management Basic Academy and worked for ISU Public Safety for several years.
”I love helping my community in any way I can — giving back,” Hansen said.
Gauna moved to Pocatello in 2015 and took a job as an emergency medical technician at Portneuf Medical Center’s emergency room, where he worked for four years. He believes his medical background will help him to “better serve and protect.”
”I did a lot as an EMT, and I wanted to learn something new and help the community that took care of me,” Gauna said.
Martin has worked as a police officer in Glendive, Montana, which has a much smaller police department, for the past five years. He and his wife and two children moved to Pocatello in early August to be closer to his wife’s family. He’s also worked as a corrections officer.
Smith moved to Pocatello in 2011 to attend ISU and earned a bachelor’s in sociology and a master’s in sociology, with an emphasis on federal law enforcement. He worked for three years as a Bannock County detention officer. He and his wife, who is a stenographer for the Pocatello Police Department, have one son.
Norton was born and raised in Pocatello, where he attended Syringa Elementary School, Franklin Middle School and Highland High School. He enjoys hunting, hiking and riding ATVs.
Schei said the officers must still complete additional academy training and field training before taking to the streets, with the least experienced hires requiring the most training.
He said they’ll be filling five positions that became open through attrition and one new position that was created by the City Council last year.