December 14, 2017, Blue Bell, Pa .—Thirty-six cadets are ready to serve the community following their graduation from Montgomery County Community College’s (MCCC) Municipal Police Academy on Dec. 13 during a ceremony held at the College’s Science Center Theater in Blue Bell.
Following the singing of the national anthem by Cadet Tyler Jaworowski of Norristown, Class 1702 had a moment of silence for the Lukens family of Schwenksville, who lost their two sons in a tragic house fire. Bryan Lukens graduated from the Academy in 2012, and works as a Montgomery County Deputy Sheriff.
MCCC President Dr. Kevin Pollock, Montgomery County Commissioner Chair Valerie A. Arkoosh, Commissioner Joseph Gale and North Coventry Township Police Chief Robert Schurr congratulated the graduates.
“You will be the calm before the storm, the voice of reason and the authority that makes things better,” said Schurr, who has been teaching at the Academy for nearly 18 years.
Valedictorian Alexander Pratt, who holds an academic average of 97.6, shared the advice of another instructor, Robert Sands, who is the training coordinator for Abington Township Police Department.
“Do good, stop bad and go home,” Pratt said to his fellow cadets and the guests who filled the auditorium to capacity. “Do good - we must never let go of doing good and treat everyone with respect and dignity. Stop bad – we are warriors who look evil in the eye and never back down. Go home – we promise to go home to our loved ones every day.”
MCCC Dean of Business and Entrepreneurial Initiatives Gaetan Giannini presented the Leadership Award to Lt. Lee Yochum of Hatboro; the Marksmanship Award to Benjamin Moller of Warrington and the Spirit of Distinction Awards (tie) to Michael Archutowski of Montgomeryville and Ryan Crescenzo of Holland, Pa.
Two cadets—SSgt. Layla Cruz of Macungie and Sgt. Connor Kreston of Ambler—received $2,500 scholarships from the charitable foundation, Quest for the Best®.
For its service project, Class 1702 raised $3,000 for Abington Township’s K-9 Officer Bryan Rickards, a 1997 graduate of the Academy who is battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease). The cadets held a “Jail & Bail” fundraiser event and silent auction at P.J. Whelihan’s Pub & Restaurant in Blue Bell to raise the funds. Abington’s Chief John A. Livingood accepted the check on his behalf.
The graduates of Class 1702 are Michael Archutowski, Montgomeryville; Ryan Crescenzo, Holland; Layla Cruz, Macungie; Christopher Daly, Chesterbrook; Felicia DelliGatti, Collegeville; Kyle Gallen, New Britain; Daniel Gilbert, Upper Darby; Stephen Hickey, Chesterbrook; Tyler Jaworowski, Norristown; Samantha Kaisinger, Langhorne; Sarah Kallatch, Perkasie; Sean Kelly, Horsham; Matthew Kopenits, Langhorne; Connor Kreston, Horsham; John-Michael Laraio, Douglassville; Tyler McGuigan, Limerick; Keith McKay, Harleysville; Alexis Miller, Spring City; Benjamin Moller, Warrington; Evan Nafziger, Pottstown; Shea Nolan, Plymouth Meeting; John O’Brien, Conshohocken; Matthew Oliver, Harleysville; Morgan Pfaff, Wyncote; Alexander Pratt, Ambler; Thomas Reinhardt, Quakertown; Thomas Rolon, Lansdale; Thomas Schiliro, King of Prussia; Veronica Schimpf, Worcester; Ryan Sloan, Pottstown; Nathaniel Smyrl, Hatfield; Michael Tantorno, Richlandtown; Nicholas Vuotto, King of Prussia; Zachary Wedemeyer, Schwenksville; Alexander Weldie, Trevose; and Lee Yochum, Hatboro.
Since 1973, the Police Academy has been the training ground for approximately 3,500 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. The Academy is certified by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through the Municipal Police Officers’ Education and Training Commission.
MCCC operates the Academy in the Health Sciences Center, Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, Pa.