by Diane VanDyke
Forty-nine police cadets graduated from Montgomery County Community College’s Municipal Police Academy on July 20 during a ceremony held at the College’s Science Center Theater in Blue Bell.
Retired State Police Lieutenant Berchard V. Suber and Tredyffrin Township Police Sergeant Taro D. Landis, both instructors at the academy, gave the keynote addresses.
“Remember three things,” Sgt. Landis said in his speech to the cadets. “God, discipline and respect. Stay true to your profession and do the right thing at the right time, even when no one is looking.”
Barbara Miller, the widow of Upper Dublin Police Sergeant Jim Miller, presented the markmanship awards to SSgt. Christopher Gaughan and Lt. Shannon Lenahan in memory of her late husband. Sgt. Miller died in an automobile accident while on duty on April 20, 2004. He was a 28-year veteran of the Upper Dublin Police Department and served with distinction in the U.S. Air Force.
Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr. and Montgomery County Deputy District Attorney Sharon Giamporcaro attended the ceremony.
The graduates of Class 1003, who attended the 42-week part-time evening program, are Kevin Black (Philadelphia), Jeff Cook (Spring City), Joseph Duffy (Limerick), James Fiocco (Trevose), Cpl. Christopher Hess (Langhorne), Michael Johnston (East Norriton), Nicholas Laffredo (Philadelphia), Lt. Shannon Lenahan (Yardley), Sgt. Kelly Lynn (Narberth), Rafael Martinez (Allen Township), Matthew O’Brien (Harleysville), Andre Parisella (Springfield), Jared Pierce (Warminster), SSgt. Seneca Smith (Langhorne), John Szambelak (East Vincent) and James Zukow Jr. (Perkasie).
For this class, Sgt. Jared Pierce was Valedictorian, Lt. Shannon Lenahan received the Leadership Award and Cpl. Christopher Hess earned the Spirit of Distinction Award for overall outstanding performance.
The graduates of Class 1101, who attended the 22-week full-time program, are Christopher Abbott (Bala Cynwyd), Cpl. Joshua Albillar (Warminster), Jack Apgar (Ottsville), Kyle Barrie (Conshohocken), John Barrington (Levittown), Anthony Cambridge (Souderton), Daniel Castellucci (Philadelphia), Lt. John Coxhead (Blue Bell), Marcus Franklin (Norristown), Robert Fulmer (Upper Gwynedd), SSgt. Christopher Gaughan (Wayne), Cpl. Daniel Gonzalez (Harleysville), Kyle Heasley (Morrisville), Wayne Johnson (Pottstown), Alex Komatick (Chalfont), Adam LaChapelle (Norristown), Andrew Lanetti (Perkasie), Daniel Leary (Willow Grove), Eric Madison (Colora, Md.), Sgt. Kevin McClernon (Yardley), Cpl. Jude McKenna (Chalfont), Timothy McNulty (Lansdale), Sgt. Stephen Nick (Radnor), Andrew Rowland (Doylestown), SSgt. Mark Rumler (Royersford), Joshua Sheller (Pottstown), Albert Strauss (Bristol), Mark Trani (Blue Bell), Curtis VanDolsen (Hatboro), Sgt. Christian Walters (Pottstown), Thomas Weldon (Newtown), Robert Wilson (Pottstown) and Casey Yard (Warminster).
For this class, Sgt. Stephen Nick was Valedictorian, Lt. John Coxhead received the Leadership Award, and Albert Strauss earned the Spirit of Distinction Award.
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 3,100 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.
“Go from here and be proud and be fair, scrupulously so,” Academy Director Frank A. Williar said. “Think of the ones who have gone before you, and remember the legacy of Sgt. Jim Miller. If you do this job as if members of your family are standing behind you every day, you will never go wrong.”
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.