WPD Austin Thompson with SD Attorney General Jason Ravenborg and SDPOA's Trevor Swanson

Watertown Police Officer Austin Thompson receives the Coler-Williams Award from South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravensborg and Trevor Swanson of the South Dakota Peace Officers' Association.

The South Dakota Law Enforcement Training Academy graduated 45 officers from across the state on Friday and one of those among the graduating class was Austin Thompson of the Watertown Police Department.

Thompson was also honored as the recipient of the Coler-Williams Memorial Award. The Coler-Williams Award is dedicated by the South Dakota Peace Officers' Association in memory of Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agents Jack Coler and Ron Williams. Special Agents Coler and Williams were ambushed and murdered near Oglala, South Dakota on the afternoon of June 26, 1975.

The recipients of this award have distinguished themselves through high academic achievement, leadership qualities and the desire to be the outstanding officer in their South Dakota Law Enforcement Basic Certification Course.

All graduates of the basic course must complete a 13-week program. The basic certification course is overseen by the South Dakota Law Enforcement Training Academy under the office of the Attorney General.

“I want to congratulate all the graduates of the 171st South Dakota Basic Training Academy on behalf of the law enforcement community and the people of the State of South Dakota,” said Ravnsborg. “Thank you to each and every one of you for your dedication to public service and I wish all of you the best of luck as you work to keep South Dakota safe.”