Ever since she was a child, Mattie Rielly was interested in law enforcement.
Growing up, she would watch the legal drama “Matlock,” which followed a criminal-defense attorney. Watching it, she said, stirred an interest in the law.
“I used to watch that show when I was a kid with my dad and just the legal aspects and the investigative aspects are what drew me to it,” Rielly said.
Twelve years ago, Rielly joined the Juneau Police Department. After only a few months, she left her position to help raise her children. Starting June 25, she’ll be back in uniform and on the streets in Juneau.
Rielly, is one of three new JPD officers who just completed training at the Public Training Academy in Sitka, graduating this past Friday. Joe Paden and Ron Shriver also went through the 15-week training, which included more than 1,000 hours of intense instruction, physical fitness activities and scenario-based exercises.
The three of them will begin their time with JPD on June 25 in the field training program. They will be supervised for 14 weeks before being able to be on patrol on their own.
Rielly and Shriver, both 35, come from other positions in the criminal justice realm. Rielly worked for the Juneau District Attorney’s Office for the past five years as a victim/witness paralegal. Shriver, originally from Baltimore, was a military police officer before eventually coming to Juneau and working for the Department of Corrections.
He served in a variety of positions with DOC, including field training officer, firearms instructor, and security and training sergeant. He was also the co-chair of the Juneau Reentry Coalition, and is heavily interested in helping formerly incarcerated people re-enter society.
“Working at the prison, I was pretty focused on helping people re-integrate back into our community and trying to reduce recidivism,” Shriver said, “and generally just trying to make sure that people were being successful in the community.”
Paden, 22, was born and raised in Juneau. He graduated from Thunder Mountain High School in May 2014 and attended the University of Alaska Southeast before working as a para-educator for the Juneau School District. Paden enjoyed working with children and diffusing conflicts, either between students or if a child is having “conflicts with themselves,” he said.
While Rielly said the training was “extraordinarily challenging,” Paden said he actually enjoyed the 15-week course in Sitka. He said he considered joining the military when he was younger, and had wanted to do some kind of boot camp.
“The training there was awesome,” Paden said. “Like I said, I’m pretty young, so I learned a lot more than these two did because I don’t know a lot about this stuff.”
During this past Friday’s graduation ceremony, Shriver was awarded as the class’ Honor Graduate. Lt. Chad Goeden, the commander of the academy, said during the ceremony that the award is given to the student who best displays the traits of ethics, integrity and virtue. The award is given based on a class vote, Goeden said, and Shriver was “selected by a wide margin.”
Paden, Shriver and Rielly aren’t the only new officers joining the department.
Kalwara also said a former JPD officer, Patrick Vaughan, is returning after spending some time in Oregon. JPD Public Safety Officer Erann Kalwara said Vaughan was with JPD from 2011-2015. Vaughan returned to JPD on May 14, Kalwara said, after being a deputy sheriff for the Yamhill County (Oregon) Sherriff’s Office.
Jairo Colindres, a man who currently lives in Wichita Falls, Texas, will be coming up to join the department, Kalwara said. JPD Lt. Krag Campbell said Colindres is not currently a police officer, and will need to go to the academy in Sitka. The next training course runs from July 29-Nov. 16 of this year, according to the academy’s website.
With these additions, Kalwara said, JPD will have eight vacancies among sworn officers — two sergeants and six police officers. Of the 55 positions, she said, 47 of them will be filled when the new officers start June 25.
That’s an improvement from this past December, when Deputy Chief David Campbell said in a city meeting that JPD was 11 officers short of full capacity. Departments all around the country are struggling with staffing, Campbell and JPD Lt. Krag Campbell have said, and Rielly said that current staffing issue is one of the reasons she re-joined the department.
“It was (a factor) for me, definitely, especially being in the DA’s office,” Rielly said. “I saw the guys struggling and we had the same issue at the DA’s office. We were always overworked. That definitely played a part for me. I felt like I could be valuable.”
• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.