April 4, 2023

DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa Department of Public Safety is proud to announce the graduation of the 46th Basic Academy on Friday, March 31, 2023, at the Holiday Inn Airport Conference Center in Des Moines, Iowa . The ceremony recognized a graduating class of 18 recruits who previously served as certified officers in law enforcement agencies across Iowa before entering the Academy on January 20, 2022. Lieutenant Matthew Struecker served as Camp Commander.

Conducted at Camp Dodge, the 10-week Academy training focused on completing law enforcement coursework on laws of arrest, search and seizure, defensive tactics, arrest techniques, precision driving, firearms, emergency management services, fair and impartial policing, criminal law, accident investigation, human relations, physical fitness, human trafficking, motor vehicle law, domestic violence, crisis intervention for mentally ill and several other courses in law enforcement. 

The 48th Certified Academy graduates are assigned the following badge numbers, and will serve Iowans in these districts: 

Thomas Allen #27 - District 12
Devon Baumgartner #48 - District 10
Lucas Darby #107- District 2
Jesse Drahos #99 - District 11
Dillon Faas #76 - District 6
Benjamin Goerdt #106 - District 10
Coby Hoff #69 - District 16
Austin Little #263 - District 2
Samuel Magana Cisneros #62 - District 5
Zacariah Milliken #283 - District 3
Nicholas Popp #160 - District 12
Christopher Raymer #407 - District 13
Jacob Riley #429 - District 13
Anthony Salato #403 - District 2
Cameron Theilen #282 - District 8
Codi Thompson #398 - District 8
McKenna Whitehill #405 - District 8

Recruits who received special recognition for their performance include: 

β€’    Lance Dietsch-Stanley Gerling Valedictorian Award: Cameron Theilen
β€’    Top Gun Award: Jacob Riley
β€’    Sergeant Jim Smith Meritorious Peer Leadership Award: Jesse Drahos
β€’    Distinguished Graduate Award: Lucas Darby
β€’    Earnest Baty, Jr. Physical Fitness Award: Nicholas Popp, Thomas Allen, Cameron Theilen

β€œWe are extremely proud of these graduates and grateful to them for choosing to answer the call with the State of Iowa,” said Stephan K. Bayens, Commissioner of the Iowa Department of Public Safety. β€œAt this point in history, I believe it is the most important time to be a law enforcement officer. There’s divisiveness, brokenness, and crime is on the rise. I cannot think of a more significant time for men and women to step up and bridge that gap, and I thank them for it,” Bayens added.

To view photos from the event, click here to visit the 48th Certified Academy Photo Album.

For more information about DPS law enforcement careers and the 10-Step Process, visit DPSCAREERS.COM.


The Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) is the largest law enforcement agency in the state. It includes six divisions and several bureaus, all working together with local, state and federal government agencies and the private sector, to keep Iowa a safe place by following our core values: leadership, integrity, professionalism, courtesy, service and protection. Divisions within the Iowa DPS: Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Iowa State Patrol, Iowa State Fire Marshal Division, Iowa Division of Intelligence and Fusion Center, and Administrative Services Division. The Department of Public Safety is led by the Commissioner who is appointed by the Governor.

Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 E 7th St
Des Moines IA 50319