Three Maricopa Police Department officers, who completed the field-training program, and one K-9 officer, who was promoted to sergeant, were honored in a promotion ceremony Thursday evening at the Copa Center.

“This is a great way to kick off a brand new year,” Chief Steve Stahl said. “I’m really extremely proud of them.”

Melissa Drane joined the department Dec. 24, 2007 and was promoted to sergeant after serving as a K-9 officer.

Andrew DeOrio, Kevin Mellor and Arielle Cohen finished their field-training program.

The training is required for all new hires before an officer can work solo in the field, whether the officer has just graduated from the police academy, just been hired or is a veteran officer transferring from another police agency.

It consists of four phases during which the officers are paired with a field-training officer.

“It’s kind of like hands-on training,” said Officer Jenny Alsidez, MPD spokeswoman.

Alsidez said it helps new officers become familiar with local procedures and ordinances.

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