Two Sandoval County  Sheriff’s Office deputy cadets earned top ranking in their class at the CNM Law Enforcement Academy.

Class 9 graduated the Academy on May 18, with deputy cadets Kiara Portillo as valedictorian and Amber McLean as salutatorian. Their titles are now certified sheriff’s deputies.

Sixteen cadets went through the Class 9 Academy. In this academy, the cadets completed more than 700 hours of classroom and practical training in several areas. The CNMLEA uses the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy Basic Police Officer Training curriculum.

Sandoval County Sheriff Jesse James Casaus expressed his appreciation for their commitment and their achievement.

“These two new certified sheriff’s deputies exemplify what is needed in today’s law enforcement officer,” Casaus said. “Their education, on-the-job training and how they conduct themselves in the field demonstrate integrity, professionalism and dedication to protecting the public. We are proud to serve with these individuals.”

Gilbert Armendariz, warden at the Sandoval County Detention Center, also applauded the academic success and career advancement Portillo and McLean.

“Both of these public safety officers began their careers at our detention center, and they were very successful here,” Armendariz said. “And so, when the opportunities at the sheriff’s office presented, they were encouraged to apply and make the move. Sandoval County is committed to career development within the county, and these two officers are proof of that.”