30 Cadets Graduate from Municipal Police Academy

by Alana J. Mauger

Class 1302 Valedictorian Cadet Hope A. Sanderlin addresses cadets.

Class 1302 Valedictorian Cadet Hope A. Sanderlin addresses cadets.

Thirty cadets graduated from Montgomery County Community College’s Municipal Police Academy on Nov. 13 during a ceremony held at the College’s Science Center Theater, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell.

Skye McLaughlin sang the National Anthem to begin the ceremony, followed by a moment of reflection from Director of Criminal Justice & Fire Science Programs Benn Prybutok.

Chief Robert A. Schurr from North Coventry Township Police Department was selected by class 1302 to give the keynote address. During his remarks, Schurr, who is an instructor at the academy, spoke about the unique role held by police officers in the community.

“As police officers, we see and do things that no one else has the opportunity to see and do,” Schurr told the cadets. “Only 20 percent of what you will do is actually law enforcement. In most cases, what we’re really doing is providing service and guidance to our community. We’re reinforcing that residents can count on us to help.”

Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr., County Detective Lieutenant Jim McGowan and County Deputy Directory of Public Safety Jesse Stemple also attended the ceremony, along with representatives from Abington, Drexel University, Delaware River Port Authority, East Norriton, Lititz, Lower Merion, Pottstown, and Springfield police departments.

Earning the highest GPA in her class, Cadet Hope A. Sanderlin, Philadelphia, offered remarks on behalf of the graduates.

“We are ultimately defined by the sum of small kindnesses we demonstrate to the people around us,” she said. “In that way, we are custodians of our communities and the law enforcement profession.”

In addition to serving as valedictorian, Sanderlin also earned the Spirit of Distinction Award.

Academy Director Frank Williar presented several other awards during the ceremony, including the Leadership Award to Cadet Lt. Andrew Thiel, Bedminister, and the James R. Miller Marksmanship Award to Eric Lacovara, North Wales. The award is presented in memory of Upper Dublin Police Sergeant Jim Miller, who died in an automobile accident while on duty in 2004.

Williar also introduced a brand new award that will be presented annually to an outstanding Academy instructor. The Charles O. “Chip” Pritchett Exceptional Instructor of the Year Award is given in honor of former Academy Deputy Director Chip Pritchett, who lost his battle with cancer last month. The award was presented to Abington Township Police Department Director of Training Bob Sands, who has taught at the academy for more than 25 years.

Cadets from class 1302 attended the academy full time, Monday through Friday for 22 weeks. Graduates include Octavius Baker, Pottstown; Kenneth Berger, Philadelphia; Zachary Bubnis, Horsham; Scott Burnick, Collegeville; Carlos Cartagena, Lansdale; Nicholas Catagnus, Norristown; Adam Clark, Lansdale; Michael Corbo, Norristown; Michael Damiano, Collegeville; John D’Amico, Pottstown; Dominic Dovidio, Warminster; David Engle, Levittown; Anthony Fischer, Lansdowne; David Fleishman, Elkins Park; Robert Kerstetter, Norristown; Eric Lacovara, North Wales; Ian McAnlis, Langhorne; Michael Mullen, Pennsburg; Chris Neal, North Wales; David O’Neill, Plymouth Meeting; Daniel Quinn, Levittown; Brian Reguera, Horsham; Brian Roth, Lower Pottsgrove; Hope Sanderlin, Philadelphia; Andrew Saurman, Abington; Andrew Thiel, Bedminister; Francis Toth, Boothwyn; Phillip Voorhees, Lansdale; Edward Washington, Willow Grove; and Adam Wolfinger, Quakertown.

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.

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 Studies.

Cadet Lt. Andrew Thiel of Class 1302 transfers command to Cadet Lt. Laina Stephens, Class 1304. Photos by John Welsh

Cadet Lt. Andrew Thiel of Class 1302 transfers command to Cadet Lt. Laina Stephens, Class 1304. Photos by John Welsh

51 Cadets Graduate from Municipal Police Academy

photos by John Welsh

by Alana J. Mauger

Fifty-one cadets graduated from Montgomery County Community College’s Municipal Police Academy on July 17 during a ceremony held at the College’s Science Center Theater, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell.

In what has become an academy tradition, Chester County Deputy Sheriff and academy alumnus Wayne T. Johnson sang the National Anthem to begin the ceremony.

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 1203 and 1301 to give keynote addresses.

During his remarks, Beck, who serves as the firearms coordinator for the academy, praised members of class 1203 for their “commitment, courage and character.”

“Through hours of training and enthusiasm, you have shown the desire to be well rounded law enforcement officers,” said Beck. “Never lose sight of who you are or where you came from. Remain committed to your decision to embark on a law enforcement career.”

Leo, who served 28 years with the Upper Dublin Police Department and 13 years as district justice, encouraged cadets to maintain balance in their lives, by “cultivating relationships outside of police work.”

Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr., County Deputy Chief Detective Samuel Gallen and County Sheriff Eileen Behr also attended the ceremony, along with representatives from East Norriton, Upper Merion, Lower Merion, Upper Moreland and Plymouth Township police departments.

Earning the highest GPA in their respective classes, Cadet Sgt. Michelle Geiger, Allentown, and Cadet Cpl. Christopher Moser, Norristown, offered remarks on behalf of their fellow graduates.

Geiger referred to members of class 1203 as “family – more than a team.”

“You’ve taught me that being successful is about meeting your goals, no matter how big they are,” she said.

In his remarks, Moser praised the quality of the academy’s instructors, noting that most are senior law enforcement professionals.

“The most important thing we learned is to have the confidence to do this job,” he shared.

Academy Director Frank Williar presented an Award of Merit to Cadet Capt. Craig Bald, Conshohocken, who served as the commanding officer over all three classes during his academy tenure.

“Very seldom do I give the responsibility of commanding the entire academy to a cadet, but in this case, I did, and the return was tenfold,” shared Williar.

Other honors presented during the ceremony included the Leadership Award to Cadet Lt. Holly Donohue, Philadelphia, and Cadet Lt. Joseph Gary, Montgomeryville, and the Spirit of Distinction Award to Andrew Ammaturo, Willow Grove, and Cadet Cpl. Jerry Ploskon, East Norriton.

Robert McCole, Lafayette Hill, and Cadet Sgt. Michael Mitchell, Pottstown, 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.

Cadets from class 1203 attended the academy part time, Monday through Thursday evenings for 42 weeks. Graduates include Andrew Ammaturo, Willow Grove; Steve Bailey, Collegeville; Holly Donohue, Philadelphia; Michelle Geiger, Allentown; Michael Iller, Bensalem; Timothy Kern, Hatboro; Jen Kobe, North Wales; Stephanie Kolb, Souderton; Robert McCole, Lafayette Hill; Patrick McLaughlin, Bethlehem; Ed Miller, Horsham; Andrew Naimoli, Wayne; Tom O’Neill, Philadelphia; James Potoka, Newtown; Michael Sheehan, King of Prussia; Steve Valdez, Allentown; Christopher Yuhasz, Harleysville.

Cadets from class 1301 attended the academy full time, Monday through Friday for 22 weeks. Graduates include Sakyi Amoh, Wyncote; Joseph Austin, Norristown; Craig Bald, Conshohocken; Richard Binder, Warminister; Andrew Bixler, Bucktown; Kyle Brierley, Yardley; Nicholas Carabello, Springfield; Margitta Delaney, Pottstown; Sean Franchini, Lower Providence; Michael Frugoli, Warwick; Shane Galette, Conshohocken; Joseph Gary, Montgomeryville; Brian Harrison, Souderton; Marc Lee-Newton, Wyncote; Brendan McCann, Royersford; Michael McFadden, Media; Michael Maguire, Glenside; Michael Mitchell, Pottstown; Christopher Moser, Norristown; Josephine Murray, Philadelphia; Charles Myrsiades, Plymouth Meeting; Nicole Navarra, Warrington; Christopher Noga, Elkins Park; Jerry Ploskon, East Norriton; Justin Polisi, Philadephia; Larissa Reggetto, Effort; Donald Reilly, Norristown; Royce Repka, Lansdale; Matthew Rice, Philadelphia; Megan Rigous, Warrington; Michael Rosa, Conshohocken; George Seifert, Harleysville; Matthew Shade, Souderton; Joseph Wood, Green Lane.

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.

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 Studies.

Cadets Graduate From Municipal Police Academy

by Diane VanDyke

Thirty police cadets graduated from Montgomery County Community College’s Municipal Police Academy on Nov. 14 during a ceremony held at the College’s Science Center Auditorium, 340 Dekalb Pike, Blue Bell.

The graduates of Class 1202 included Stephen Andrews (Richboro), Gregory Borgmann (Warminster), Raymond Brook (Maple Glen), Michael Choiniere (Gilbertsville), David Clouser (Quakertown), Richard Dean (Yardley), Shalako Drabinksy (Chalfont), Kevin Furman (Newtown Square), Eric Honick (Conshohocken), Jason Howell (Limerick), Erik Iochum (Abington), Joseph Jennings (Churchville), Salvatore LaMantia (Yardley), Michael Lanzafame (Philadelphia), Bryan Lukens (Whitemarsh), Scott Lukens (Plymouth Meeting), David Malischewski (Perkasie), Joseph O’Mara (Lower Gwynedd), Stephen Pimm (Ambler), Michael Pinciotti (Newtown), Benjamin Romanowicz (Bensalem), Benjamin Scott (Pennsburg), Brian Seibert (Worcester), Jennifer Smith (Abington), Kevin South (Morrisville), Rafael Stoppazzollo (Philadelphia), Michael Theiss (Tuckerton, N.J.), Michael Verrillo (Warrington), Anthony Vogel (Horsham) and Zachary Wise (Phoenixville).

Valedictorian Sgt. Stephen Pimm earned the Sgt. James R. Miller Marksmanship award, and Lt. Bryan Lukens earned the Leadership Award. Sgt. Richard Dean was awarded the Spirit of Distinction Award for his teamwork, discipline, dedication and leadership.

The ceremony started with a moment of silence in respect for fallen Plymouth Township Police Officer Bradley Fox, an alumnus of the Police Academy. A chaired draped with his jacket bearing his name was placed next to the podium during the ceremony in his memory

Guest speakers for the evening included Sgt. Ken Hawthorn of the Warrington Township Police Department and Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr. Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman also attended.

In his remarks, Hawthorn told the cadets to “be firm but be fair,” and not to dwell on mistakes.

“Remember, your patrol car has a big windshield and a small rearview mirror,” he said. “What’s in front of you is more important than what’s behind you.”

Castor reminded the cadets to “do the right thing” when the moment calls for it. “Being a police officer,” he said, “is not a profession but a calling, a calling to do the right thing for the people of the community.”

During the ceremony, the McGowan family presented the Chief John J. McGowan III Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $2,500 to Orwigsburg Borough Police Officer Matthew Fogarty of Royersford.  Fogarty graduated from the Police Academy in July 2012 and also serves as an emergency medical technician.

When receiving the scholarship, Fogarty thanked the McGowan family, telling them, “Chief McGowan was the leader I dream of becoming.”

Chief McGowan started his law enforcement career in 1974 with the Lower Moreland Police Department. While working there, he graduated from the FBI National Academy and earned his master’s degree in Criminal Justice from St. Joseph’s University. After his retirement in 1992, he became the police chief and public safety director for East Norriton Township, a position he held until June 18, 2010, when he was involved in a fatal motorcycle accident.

In addition to his law enforcement career, McGowan was an academic instructor in the Criminal Justice program at Montgomery County Community College. He also served as past president of the Montgomery County Police Chiefs’ Association and the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association and was instrumental in establishing the Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, Academy Director Frank A. Williar praised Class 1202, stating that the members of this class are definitely people he would recommend to safeguard his family and the community.

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 3,200 cadets with a consistent graduation rate of more than 96 percent. The 800-hour curriculum allows successful students to articulate up to 15 credit hours toward an associate’s degree in Criminal Justice.

Williar, a 1974 Police Academy graduate, was hired as the Academy Director in 2005. The Academy is certified by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through the Municipal Police Officers’ Education and Training Commission.

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Photos by John Welsh

61 Cadets Graduate from Montgomery County Municipal Police Academy

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

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photos by John Welsh