U.S. Senator John Boozman will be the guest speaker at Black River Technical College’s Law Enforcement Training Academy (LETA) graduation to be held April 12. The ceremony will begin at 1:00 p.m. in the Randolph County Development Center on the BRTC Pocahontas campus.
Boozman, sworn in as U.S. Senator on January 5, 2011, was raised in Fort Smith and graduated from Northside High School. He went on to play football for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks while completing his pre-optometry requirements. He graduated from the Southern College of Optometry in 1977 and entered private practice that same year, co-founding a family business with his brother that would ultimately become a major provider of eye care to Northwest Arkansas.
For five terms, Boozman served the people of the Third District of Arkansas in the U.S. House of Representatives, establishing a reputation as an advocate for Arkansans, especially for the needs of veterans and the state’s infrastructure needs. While Ranking Member of the House Veterans Affairs Economic Opportunity Subcommittee, he played a crucial role in the government’s efforts to ensure veterans have a smooth transition to civilian life.
During his tenure in the House, Boozman served as Ranking Member of the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee of the House Transportation committee, which holds jurisdiction over water resources development, conservation and management, water pollution control, water infrastructure, and hazardous waste cleanup. He was also one of the founding members of the Congressional I-49 Caucus to promote completion of Interstate 49.
Boozman’s work on the international stage during his tenure in the House, helped make Arkansas a larger player in global trade. In 2007, his efforts to bring together Third District and state leaders with the international community culminated in the creation of the Arkansas World Trade Center (AWTC) in Rogers, which opened in 2007. Since its opening, he and the AWTC have hosted numerous foreign dignitaries, diplomats and government leaders in an effort to open new markets for Arkansas’s goods and services.
In the 112th Congress, Boozman was selected to sit on four committees in the Senate: Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry; Environment and Public Works; Commerce, Science and Transportation; and Veterans’ Affairs. He serves as ranking member of the Conservation, Forestry and Natural Resources Subcommittee of the Agriculture Committee; ranking member of the Science and Space Subcommittee of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee; and ranking member of the Environment and Public Works’ Green Jobs Subcommittee.
Prior to his election to Congress, Boozman served two terms on the Rogers School Board, which is one of the largest school districts in the state. He established the low vision program at the Arkansas School for the Blind in Little Rock and worked as a volunteer optometrist at an area clinic that provides medical services to low-income families. He successfully raised Polled Hereford cattle that were competitive in the show ring, as well as in bull testing at Oklahoma State University. Boozman, 60, and his wife Cathy have three daughters.
“We are honored to have Senator Boozman as guest speaker,” said LETA Director Steve Shults, “and delighted that he has chosen to speak to such a good group.” There are 43 officers representing police and sheriff departments around the region expected to graduate.