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The Los Alamos County Police Department recently added two new officers to its force, one of which was valedictorian of the graduating class.
After ceremonies at the Santa Fe Police Academy last Thursday, officers James Keane and Adele Girmendonk were sworn in as LAPD’s newest officers Friday and began their 13-week, on-the-job training over the weekend, patrolling the streets of Los Alamos with their trainers/partners.
“I’m having a great time taking everything I learned at the academy and applying it here in the streets,” Girmendonk said. “It’s been a very good experience.”
Girmendonk added that a lot of the credit goes to her field-training officer.
“I’ve really enjoyed working with my FTO, he’s been super and really knowledgeable and that really helps,” she said.
Girmendonk decided to go into police work out of a genuine desire to serve her community and to somehow apply her experience in disaster management to her current job.
“I feel like I had a lot to be grateful for in my life,” she said. “I just wanted to give back to my community and to feel like I’m helping society in some way.”
Keane was in the same graduating class with Girmendonk and said he feels the same way.
“I’ve always enjoyed working with the community,” Keane said. “Most of my jobs have been customer service-oriented, and though some people might not see it that way, our job is to serve the public.” Keane, who previously served as a security officer at Los Alamos High School, added that he’s always considered himself a people person and enjoys interacting with people in a positive manner.
If Keane’s name sounds familiar, that’s because some may recall another officer on the force named James Keane. He retired as a lieutenant and was Keane’s grandfather, who passed away in 2007.
“When the police officer position became available, I told myself that I’m going to give this a shot,” he said. “I think it would be good not only for me, but the community as well.”
Girmendonk and Keane spent 21 weeks at the academy. With the addition of the two officers, the LAPD now has 36 officers.