New officers join Lawton Police Department
Members of the Lawton Basic Police Academy Class of 2016-09 were promoted during a graduation ceremony Thursday at the Great Plains Technology Center.
The 11-member graduating class included:
• Tina Bendele: A Michigan native and graduate of the North Center Institute. Bendele served in the U.S. Army from 2001 to 2015 as an aviation helicopter mechanic. She is currently in the Army Reserves.
• Nicholas Chilcote: A Lawton native, Chilcote is a MacArthur High School graduate and former employee of Fidelity Communications. He and his wife, Amber, have three children.
• Samuel Encinias: Served in the U.S. Army from 1996 to 2016 and retired as Sgt. 1st Class, he worked as a Comanche County Reserve Officer for a short time before joining LPD. He and his wife, Mariana, have three children.
• Chantz Flinn: A graduate of Snyder High School, Flinn has worked in the oil field for Casedhole Solutions. He and his girlfriend, Karen Finn, have one daughter.
• Jason Gillis: A graduate of East Chicago (Ill.) Central High School, he is currently studying cyber security at Excelsior College. He retired from the U.S. Army as chief warrant officer after 22 years of service and was deployed to Kuwait, Iraq, Spain, Puerto Rico, Panama and Honduras. Gillis previously worked at a super maximum security prison. He and his wife, Katharin Rice-Gillis, have six children.