34 Cadets Graduate from Municipal Police Academy

by Alana J. Mauger

Thirty-four cadets graduated from Montgomery County Community College’s Municipal Police Academy Class 1304 on March 26 during a ceremony held at the College’s Science Center Theater, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell.

Academy alumnus Wayne T. Johnson, Deputy Sheriff with Chester County Sherriff’s Department, sang the National Anthem to begin the ceremony, followed by a moment of reflection from Director of Criminal Justice & Fire Science Programs Benn Prybutok. The Philadelphia Police Department Honor Guard and the Philadelphia Emerald Society Pipe Band led the procession.

Patrol Commander Darren Nyce from Upper Dublin Township Police Department was selected by class 1304 to give the keynote address, during which he stressed the importance of preparation.

“Prepare for opportunity, [so that you’re] ready for opportunity when it comes. Being prepared to do the right thing at the right moment takes tremendous heart, courage and perseverance, and, at times, great sacrifice,” shared Nyce, who is an alumnus of the Academy as well as an instructor.

Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr., County Deputy Chief Detective Samuel Gallen, and County Coordinator of School Safety Steven A. Beck were also in attendance, along with representatives from Tredyffrin, Upper Darby, Upper Merion, Upper Moreland and Whitpain police departments and the FBI.

Earning the highest GPA in his class, Cadet Cpl. Jason Kesack, Lansdale, offered remarks on behalf of the graduates.

“I think love is probably the most important thing, not only in police work but in life in general,” he shared. “It’s about community policing and how you interact with the people around you. Everyone is someone’s mother, someone’s brother. I think it’s important that we remember that golden rule—that we should treat people the way we would want our families treated.”

Academy Director Frank Williar presented Cadet Lt. Laina Stevens, Philadelphia, with the Platoon Commander Award, describing her as “a breath of fresh air.” Stevens, who is now an officer with the Upper Darby Police Department, then ceremonially handed Academy command over to Class 1401 Cadet Lt. Andrew Burrows, Doylestown.

Williar also presented the Director’s Spirit of Distinction Award to Cadet Cpl. James Apgar, Frenchtown, N.J., adding that the award goes to “the MVP of the group; to an individual whose personality is instrumental in making the class what it is.”

Stevens presented the James R. Miller Marksmanship Award to Eric Meoli, Lansdale. The award is presented in memory of Upper Dublin Police Sergeant Jim Miller, who died in an automobile accident while on duty in 2004.

During the ceremony, members of the McGowan family—Karen and her sons Scott and John McGowan IV, presented the Chief John J. McGowan III Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $3,500 to Robert Calvin Wiley, Willow Grove. The scholarship honors the late East Norriton Police Chief John McGowan, who died in a motorcycle accident in 2010. Wiley thanked the McGowan family for the honor, adding that he will use the scholarship to continue his education in MCCC’s Criminal Justice program in the fall.

Cadets from class 1304 attended the academy full time, Monday through Friday for 22 weeks. Graduates include Cadet Cpl. James Apgar, Frenchtown, N.J.; Ryan Benner, Drexel Hill; Steve Berg, Levittown; Cadet Sgt. Andrew Brown, Exton; Cadet Sgt. Michael Cabry, Coatesville; Michael Carlson, Elkins Park; Liz Cartwright, Telford; Timothy Clark, Abington; Amber Culton, Quakertown; Zachary Danowski, Skippack; Kevin Deegan, Downington; James Falatovich, Birdsboro; Cadet SSgt. Evan Flora, Collegeville; Jarett Gordon, Collegeville; Patrick Halcovage, Hatfield; Jonathan Huber, Souderton; Cadet Cpl. Jason Kesack, Lansdale; Patrick Kitchenman, Levittown; Cadet Cpl. John Kreuer, Ephrata; Kevin Lowry, Willow Grove; Brett Mackow, Green Lane; Eric Meoli, Lansdale; Jay Nakahara, Allentown; Nicholas O’Connor, Conshohocken; David Pagan, Philadelphia; Stephen Romanic, Coopersburg; Cadet SSgt. David Rosenblit, Philadelphia; Cadet Sgt. Nicholas Ruud, Doylestown; Kathleen Ryan, Horsham; Alex Sansone, Huntingdon Valley; Cadet Lt. Laina Stevens, Philadelphia; Ryan Umberger, Bristol, Gabriel Wasserman, Ambler; Calvin Wiley, Willow Grove.

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 3,500 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.

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Class 1304 graduates are congratulated by Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr., MCCC Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost Dr. Victoria Bastecki-Perez, and MCCC Dean of Social Sciences Dr. Aaron Shatzman. Photo by John Welsh

35 Cadets Graduate from College’s Municipal Police Academy

by Alana J. Mauger

Thirty-five cadets graduated from Montgomery County Community College’s Municipal Police Academy last month during a ceremony held at the College’s Science Center Theater, 340 Dekalb Pike, Blue Bell.

The ceremony began with a moment of silence in memory of Plymouth Township Police Officer Bradley Fox, who was killed in the line of duty on Sept. 13, 2012. Fox was a graduate from academy class 603.

Retired Pennsylvania State Police Lieutenant Michael Ford, a Vietnam veteran and instructor at the academy, was selected by class 1204 to give the keynote address.

During his remarks, Ford commended the cadets for their “tenacity, focus and professionalism,” stating that class 1204 “ranks with the best I have ever seen.”

“There’s a reason [academy] instructors come back to teach year after year. [The cadets] are a part of what I do – my legacy. I want them to be the best they can possibly be and make me proud,” he said.

Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr. and Montgomery County Chief of Detectives Edward Justice also attended the ceremony, along with representatives from Lower Merion, Quakertown, Upper Darby and Abington police departments.

As valedictorian, Cadet Dwight Kondravy, Philadelphia, offered remarks on behalf of his fellow graduates. Other honors presented during the ceremony included the Leadership Award to Cadet Lieutenant Kevin Saffell, Norristown, and the Spirit of Distinction Award to Cadet Sergeant Richard Lewis, Willow Grove.

Academy Director Frank Williar presented the Director’s Teamwork Achievement Award to Cadet Corporal Brenna Stemler, Hatboro. This new award recognizes a cadet who best exemplifies the concept of team over self. Williar also presented the class 1204 guidon to George William Hallahan, West Chester. The class flag is occasionally presented to a graduating cadet who overcomes the greatest number of challenges to succeed.

Two cadets, Timothy Miller, of Upper Darby, and Edward Sarama, of Galloway, N.J., achieved perfect scores on the range, earning them the Sgt. James R. Miller Marksmanship Award. The award is presented in memory of Upper Dublin Police Sergeant Jim Miller, who died in an automobile accident while on duty in 2004.

Additionally, Ryan Bunda, of Bristol, was presented with the Chief John J. McGowan III Memorial Scholarship. The $2,500 scholarship honors former East Norriton Police Chief John McGowan, who was killed in a fatal motorcycle accident in June 18, 2010.

Cadets from class 1204 attended the academy full time, Monday through Friday for 22 weeks. Graduates include Ryan Bunda, Bristol; Joseph Cantymagli, Pottstown; Sean Clements, Bensalem; Jack Davis, Towamencin; Matthew Dougherty, Media; Ronald Ernst, Newtown; Samantha Grebe, Lansdale, G. William Hallahan, West Chester; Brandon Hertzog, Lansdale; Paul Houseknecht, East Greenville; Tyrone Johnson, Penllyn; Kyle Knowles, Levittown; Dwight Kondravy, Philadelphia; Jonathan Kramer, Perkasie; Richard Lewis, Willow Grove; Matthew Lynch, Upper Darby; Matthew MacNeal, Glenolden; Robert Maier, Skippack; Timothy Miller, Upper Darby; Ryan Paskel, Bridgeport; John Prestia, Plymouth Meeting; James Robb, Pottstown; Timothy Romanek, Levittown; Kevin Saffell, Norristown; Edward Sarama, Galloway, N.J.; Matthew Stead, Schwenksville; Breanna Stemler, Hatboro; Will Suren, Philadelphia; John Wade, Bristol; Jeff Ward, Warminister; Madeline Welsh, Phoenixville; Paul Welsh, Roslyn; and Robert Whitt, Hopewell, N.J.

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.

Photos by John Welsh