New police officers are ready to serve the community

By Diane VanDyke
Thirty-three cadets recently graduated from MCCC's Municipal Police Academy. Photo by Chloe Elmer

Thirty-three cadets recently graduated from MCCC's Municipal Police Academy. Photo by Chloe Elmer

Thirty-three cadets are prepared to join area police forces following their graduation from Montgomery County Community College’s Municipal Police Academy on June 19 during a ceremony held at the College’s Science Center Theater in Blue Bell.

MCCC’s Dean of Business and Entrepreneurial Initiatives Gaetan Giannini, Ed.D. and MCCC’s Executive Director of Workforce Development and Continuing Education Gregory Skelley congratulated and thanked the graduates for the important role they will serve in the community.

Guest speaker, Robert Sands, the Director of Training for Abington Police Department, reminded the graduates of the excellence expected of them by the public today.

“There are 31.5 million seconds in a year, and during that time, police answer 245 million calls,” Sands said. “It’s a challenge, but it’s the greatest job in the world. You may ask if the job is worth it, and it absolutely is. Why? Because it matters.”

Police Academy Director Jude T. McKenna recognized the accomplishments of the Class of 1901, including the valedictorian and awards.

Earning the highest grade point average of 96.6, SSgt. Lauren Porter was named valedictorian. Lt. Bradley Matz received the Platoon Leadership Award for his leadership skills. The Sgt. James R. Miller Marksmanship Award went to Riley Miller and Matz, who both had a 96 average. The Spirit of Distinction award was presented to Meghan Wheatley for her enthusiasm and teamwork.

During the ceremony, family members of the late East Norriton Police Chief John J. McGowan, III, presented a check for a $3,500 scholarship named in his memory to Kyle Lowery. The McGowan family started the scholarship fund after John McGowan died in a motorcycle accident in 2010. The scholarship is awarded annually to a cadet who has successfully completed the program and is financing their own tuition.

Representatives from the Quest for the Best®  charitable foundation, President Taras M. Wochock and Vice President Daniel A. Czaplicki, presented two scholarships in the amount of $2,500 each to Andrew Cox and Sgt. Vincent Tenaglia. Quest for the Best® awards four scholarships in the amount of $2,500 each year to cadets who demonstrate leadership and excellence during the program.

The Class of 1901 includes Francis Bailey, Abington; Ty Castellano, West Deptford, New Jersey; Grier Conard, Audubon; Andrew Cox, Conshohocken; Zachariah DeMar, Green Lane;

Nicholas DeRitis, Haddon Township, New Jersey; Julius Ertler, Pemberton Township, New Jersey; Gabriela Fenwick, Newtown; Francis Ferrara, Warminster; Ryan Frederick, East Norriton; Nicholas Gallina, Newtown; Francis Hurd, Norristown; Anna Kahn, Quakertown;

Joseph Kelley, North Wales; Rubia Lloyd, Norristown; Kyle Lowery, Audubon; Bradley Matz, Bensalem; Connor McGovern, Philadelphia; Kyle McKenna, Lansdale; Luke Miller, Audubon; Riley Miller, West Chester; Preston Moyer, Telford; Sean Peck, Newtown; Anthony Peronace, Hatboro; John Peters, Lafayette Hill; Shawn Philyaw, Philadelphia; Lauren Porter, Warrington; Sara Shaeffer, Boyertown; David Sosnoskie, Doylestown; Vincent Tenaglia, Yardley; Matthew Terry, Philadelphia; Colin Tice, Willow Grove; and Meghan Wheatley, Willow Grove.

Since 1973, the Police Academy has been the training ground for more than 3,500 cadets with a consistent graduation rate of more than 90 percent. The 919-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 Municipal Police Academy in the Health Sciences Center, Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, Pa.