From the Document: "With a population of just over one million inhabitants, served by approximately 2,500 state, local, and tribal law enforcement officers, Montana relies on one institution to train the vast majority of its peace officers: the Montana Law Enforcement Academy (MLEA). As news spread that police academies throughout the United States were shuttering and cancelling programs because of COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019], MLEA's top-notch team improvised, adapted, and kept the academy fully operational. As Montana's governor began scaling back public services across the state in March 2020, a basic law enforcement class of 59 students was just a couple of weeks from graduation, and a new group of students was preparing to start shortly thereafter. Small, rural agencies were already short-handed and desperate to put officers on the street, and the larger agencies were still reeling from retirements and vacancies. Those factors combined with COVID-19 impacts made it the worst possible time for a disruption in MLEA training. Montana faced the prospect of significant long-term public safety consequences."
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