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October 5, 2013

Ceremony marks 50th year of CLEET

Ada — Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, a former agent with the U.S. Secret Service, told about 150 cadets at CLEET their chosen profession was one of a higher calling.

He told them they might one day be called upon to lay down their lives to save a complete stranger.

The Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training in Ada opened its operation to the public Friday in observance of CLEET’s 50th anniversary.

Various department figures led guests on tours of their areas of expertise.

Lamb was one of the dignitaries chosen to speak in the massive building’s All-Purpose Center.

Other speakers included David Lewis, Senator Susan Paddack and U.S. Marshal Clayton Johnson.

Lamb emphasized the importance of competency.

“Competency breeds trust,” he said in urging cadets to push themselves in their respective pursuits of a law enforcement career.

Paddack recalled the struggle many in the crowd had been through in bringing CLEET to Ada, how she and others in the Legislature had to raise an additional $500,000 to complete the final stages of the training center.

Johnson, a former chairman of the CLEET council, lauded the progress of the organization through its first half-century. He spoke of the dramatic expansion of hours that have made the Oklahoma law  enforcement training center one of the best in the country. He also praised all the additions to the physical part of the training for the cadets.

Executive Director Steve Emmons welcomed the visitors to the academy and the A1304 Color Guard posted the colors.

Kelsey Howry of the East Central University Chorale led the crowd in the national anthem.

Pastor Shawn Wiebers gave the invocation and Chief of Operations Chris Sutterfield closed out the program.

The organization was launched in 1963 on a volunteer basis. Eight years later, it was requiring certified officers to have 80 hours of training.

Those hours have since been expanded to 600.

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