Sixty-one cadets graduated from Montgomery County Community College’s Municipal Police Academy on July 18 during a ceremony held at the College’s Science Center Theater, 340 Dekalb Pike, Blue Bell.
Steven A. Beck, coordinator of school safety with the Montgomery County Department of Public Safety, and Paul N. Leo, district justice, both instructors at the academy, were selected by classes 1103 and 1201 to give keynote addresses.
During his remarks, Beck, who serves as the firearms coordinator for the academy, stressed the importance of weapon safety in training, on the job and at home.
“The cadets took to heart the seriousness of their training,” he said. “I know it takes a special kind of citizen to take the steps necessary to join the police academy.”
Leo called the graduating cadets “the cream of the crop” and offered advice he learned during his 28 years with the Upper Dublin Police Department and 12 years as district justice.
“There is a minimum of two sides to every story. It’s your job to thoroughly investigate and articulate the facts.”
Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr. and Montgomery County Chief of Detectives Edward Justice also attended the ceremony.
As valedictorians, cadets James Trymbiski, Warrington, and Stephen Chapman, Philadelphia, offered remarks on behalf of their fellow graduates. Cadets from class 1103 attended the academy part time, Monday through Thursday evenings for 42 weeks. Cadets from class 1201 attended the academy full time, Monday through Friday for 22 weeks.
“I learned a lot from observing you guys,” Trymbiski said to his fellow cadets from class 1103. “Every one of you has brought something to the table. Together, our class bestowed all the qualities that make every group or team work.”
Chapman described cadets in class 1201 as “a family, connected by common experience.”
“I gained 33 brothers and sisters,” he said. “Real lessons can’t be compiled in a grade book. We all learned, together, that we are more than we thought we could be.”
In addition to achieving the highest GPAs, Trymbiski and Chapman also earned the Sgt. James R. Miller Marksmanship Award in their respective classes. The award is presented in memory of Upper Dublin Police Sergeant Jim Miller, who died in an automobile accident while on duty in 2004.
Other honors presented during the ceremony included the Leadership Award to cadet lieutenants George Sims, Philadelphia, and Jeffry Seamans, Lower Providence, and the Spirit of Distinction Award to Igor Parfeniouk, Feasterville, Andrea Sovari, Collegeville, and Jonathan Recchi, Philadelphia.
Graduates from class 1103 include Kyle Bartholomew, Hellertown; Jeffrey Crescenzo, Hatboro; Joleen DePasquale, Philadelphia; Meghan Donlen, Skippack; Nicholas Durham, Phillipsburg, N.J.; Steven Feldmann, Levittown; Matthew Fogarty, Royersford; Eric Fries, Philadelphia; Stephen Garris, Levittown; Francis Hayden, Abington; Eric Johnson, Schwenksville; James Joniec, Harleysville; Michael Kirk, Levittown; Joseph LaBorde, Feasterville; Jeffrey Lorish, Douglassville; Matthew Malcolm, Philadelphia; Joshua Mallabar-Hobson, Kintnersville; Ashley Mandarano, Conshohocken; David Manning, Philadelphia; Terrance Matthews, Philadelphia; Christopher McAroy, Huntingdon Valley, Victor Morrison, Warminister; Igor Parfeniouk, Feasterville; George Sims, Philadelphia; Michael Snock, Philadelphia; Andrea Sovari, Collegeville; Christopher Sterner, Nazareth; James Trymbiski, Warrington.
Graduates from class 1201 include Ryan Allen, Quakertown; Rachel Axelrod, Lower Merion; Ryan Babcock, Upper Dublin; John Bogan, Malvern; Darren Brow, Philadelphia; John Brucker, Upper Dublin; Kevin Buchanan, Levittown; Jeffrey Calabrese, Havertown; Stephen Chapman, Philadelphia; Joseph Fetko, Flourtown; Justin Fritz, Pottstown; Patrick Gardner, Upper Darby; Kevin Harp, Pottstown; Corey Hatton, Havertown; Steven Hochwind, Chalfont; Anthony Krolikowski, Ambler; Colin Lawlor, New Hanover; James Mains, Gilbertsville; Chris McAroy; Jason Niewood, Philadelphia; Matthew Peppleman, Doylestown; Zachary Peppleman, Doylestown; Kelcy Pitts, Naples, Fla.; Jonathan Recchi, Philadelphia; Brian Resta, Langhorne; Andrew Rook, Hamilton, N.J., Brian Schaible, Oreland; Jeffrey Seamans, Lower Providence; Jeffrey Showmaker, Churchville; Vincent Small, Huntingdon Valley; Ashlie Smith, Warminister; Nicholas Travaline, Philadelphia; Kyle Walker, Warminister; Zachary Zeoli, King of Prussia.
Montgomery County Community College, in conjunction with the state training commission, operates the Municipal Police Academy at the Montgomery County Public Safety Training Campus, 1175 Conshohocken Road, Conshohocken, PA 19428.
The academy has been the training ground for approximately 3,400 cadets with a consistent graduation rate of more than 90 percent. The 800-hour curriculum allows successful students to articulate up to 15 credit hours toward an associate’s degree in Criminal Justice.
~ by Alana J. Mauger
photos by John Welsh