Cadets Graduate from Municipal Police Academy

by Neree Aron-Sando

Class 1402 Lt. Brett Burns is congratulated by Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost Dr. Vicki Bastecki-Perez, Commissioner Bruce Castor Jr., and Dean of Social Sciences Dr. Aaron Shatzman.

Class 1402 Lt. Brett Burns is congratulated by Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost Dr. Vicki Bastecki-Perez, Commissioner Bruce Castor Jr., and Dean of Social Sciences Dr. Aaron Shatzman.

“This is not a one-time process,” said Municipal Police Academy Director Frank Williar, welcoming cadets and their families to the graduation of Class 1402 on Nov. 12 in the Montgomery County Community College Science Center Theater. “We have an obligation to assist each other…to provide resources to each other. People who leave here come back.

Moments before, after 19 cadets filed on stage with military precision, Horsham Township Police Officer Kate Ryan came back to the academy from which she graduated with Class 1304 to introduce Williar, who in turn introduced the evening’s special guests: Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce Castor Jr.; Dr. Aaron Shatzman,  dean of Social Sciences; Dr. Victoria Bastecki-Perez, vice president of academic affairs and provost; Jesse Stemple, first deputy director Montgomery County Department of Public Safety; East Norriton Police Chief Karyl Kates; East Norriton Police Lt. Brandon Pasquale; Lower Merion Police Superintendent Michael McGrath; North Coventry Police Chief Robert Schurr, Officers Andrew Thiel and Igor Parfeniouk, and Sgt. Rob Malason; and Springfield Police Chief Michael Pitkow.

Cadet SSgt. Anastasios Apostolidis called for a moment of silence for those in uniform, both military and law enforcement, who gave their lives in the line of duty.

North Coventry Police Officer Andrew Thiel, commander of Class 1302, came back to introduce Keynote speaker Whitemarsh Township Police Lt. Francis “Fran” Wheatley, who congratulated the cadets on enduring a long and demanding course of studies.

“As a police officer, you will be constantly under intense scrutiny, both on and off duty,” Wheatley warned. “You have chosen a career and will take an oath to lead by example for the rest of your lives.” He urged the cadets never to forget the discipline they learned at the academy. “You should embrace every opportunity to be the counselor, the social worker, the help desk . . . the life-saver” roles beyond merely catching the bad guys that make the world a better place. “We are the peacekeepers who make sure that our communities are safe.”

Sean Maguire,was valedictorian of Class 1402. Photo by Matt Carlin

Sean Maguire,was valedictorian of Class 1402. Photo by Matt Carlin

Class Valedictorian Cadet Cpl. Sean Maguire of Jeffersonville told his classmates that “we step out of our secular lives into a life of service. We are the next generation of law enforcement, and we are strong.”

Upper Darby Township Police Officer Laina Stevens, commander of Class 1304 and the winner of the 2012-2014 Outstanding Academy Cadet award, introduced Castor, who returns to address the graduating classes every chance he gets. Police officers, he told the cadets “are not just people. They are symbols of a free society. If you attack one of them, you are attacking all of us. You cannot enjoy any of the things you love to do if you are afraid. And that is not the promise of America.”

Class 1402 Cadet Lt. Brett Burns was honored for his leadership. “Brett stamped his personality on the class,” Williar said. “You left some big shoes to fill.”

Burns presented the Director’s Spirit of Distinction Award to Cadet Cpl. Ryan Cifelli of Chalfont, and congratulated Cadet Joseph “Joey” Metzinger on his acceptance to the Pennsylvania State Police Academy.

Cadet David Arredondo of Stockton, Calif., won the James R. Miller Marksmanship Award in memory of the Upper Dublin police sergeant who died in a motor vehicle accident in the line of duty in 2004.

Robin Pritchett introduced the second annual Charles O. “Chip” Pritchett Exceptional Police Academy Instructor of the Year Award, named in honor of her husband, an East Norriton police officer and Municipal Police Academy deputy director who died in October 2013, and read the name of the second recipient: North Coventry Police Chief Robert A. Schurr.

“We miss him every day,” Schurr said, of Pritchett. “I’m humbled. And thank you.”

Dr. Bastecki-Perez conferred diplomas on Lt. Brett Burns, Abington; SSgt. Anastasio Apostolidis, Abington; Sgt. Joseph Metzinger, Rockledge; Sgt. Dylan Royce, Schwenksville; Cpl. Kelly Adams, Newtown; Cpl. Josué Gerena, Philadelphia; Cpl. Sean Maguire, Jeffersonville; Cpl. Branden Sisca, Trappe; Cadet David Arredondo, Stockton, Calif.; Cadet Ryan Cifelli, Chalfont; Cadet John Davis, Douglassville; Cadet Colleen Harner, Glenside; Cadet Marc Laing, Trappe; Cadet Christopher Miller, Gilbertsville; Cadet Aamir Raza, Warrington; Cadet Kevin Siebert, Oreland; Cadet John Smart, Bensalem; Cadet Steffy Shane, Perkiomenville; and Cadet Kyle Williamson, Montgomeryville.

No doubt, many of the graduates will return to speak at future graduations and to assist their successors.

Lt. Burns passed the torch to his own successor, Lt. Brian Manion, Class 1404, completing the continuity inherent in the ceremony. Manion’s classmates provided an honor guard throughout the graduation.

Cadets from class 1402 attended the academy full time, Monday through Friday, for 22 weeks, alternating studies with physical conditioning, as Maguire put it, “running and more running.”

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.

Whitemarsh Township Police Lt. Francis “Fran” Wheatley gave the keynote address to cadets from Class 1402. Photo by Matt Carlin

Whitemarsh Township Police Lt. Francis “Fran” Wheatley gave the keynote address to cadets from Class 1402. Photo by Matt Carlin

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.

BLOG Police 1

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

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.

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

Graduate Profile: Army Veteran, Police Officer Alex Bruckner Earns CJS Degree

by Neree Aron-Sando

In 2010, what Alex Bruckner needed was a little flexibility.

That year, the 25-year-old Eagleville resident had just been discharged from the U.S. Army after two tours of duty. He was enrolled in the Montgomery County Police Academy where he was assigned the rank of lieutenant (class leader). He was hired as a full-time police officer, and he got married.

“I’ve had a lot on my plate,” Brucker said.

“I chose Montgomery County Community College mainly because of its convenience since I live in the area,” he said. “I attended classes at the Blue Bell campus as well as the Pottstown campus and found the class schedule to be extremely flexible for the ‘working student.’”

Bruckner graduated in May from Montgomery County Community College’s Criminal Justice program.

Bruckner benefitted from the Post-9/11 GI Bill, but would have considered Montgomery County Community College a bargain without it.

“I would say that $300 to $400 for a college class is very affordable, and if the GI Bill was not available, MCCC still would have been my first choice,” he said.

After serving two tours in Iraq in a unit tasked with addressing IEDs (improvised explosive devices), he enrolled in the Criminal Justice Program at MCCC.

“The main objective for my unit was to clear the roads of IEDs. We would travel the roads in an attempt to spot the IEDs before they exploded on us,” said Bruckner. “Once we found the IED, we would execute a controlled detonation to neutralize the bomb so no one got hurt. I am very proud of the men I served with and the selfless sacrifices they have made.”

After living history, Brucker enjoyed studying it.

“I would say the most important experience I had at the college was being a student of Professor James Robertson and Dr. [Daniel] Rolph who were very knowledgeable history teachers,” Bruckner said.

“Professor Robertson was very quirky and presented history in a fun way that kept it interesting. Dr. Rolph was extremely knowledgeable as he works at the historical society and has spent much of his life studying history. Both men did a great job of presenting the facts of history and avoided the liberal slant that seems to plague many universities across America.”

With his career as a Montgomery County police officer already under way, he’s not sure if additional education is in the cards.

“One thing that I have realized in our current economic state is that just having a degree doesn’t pay the bills or get you a job. You need to be creative and motivated to pave your own way instead of relying on a piece of paper to do it for you,” he shared.

Cadets Graduate from Montgomery County Municipal Police Academy

by Diane VanDyke

Thirty-three police cadets graduated from Montgomery County Community College’s Municipal Police Academy on March 21 during a ceremony held at the College’s Science Center Theater, Central Campus, Blue Bell.

The graduates of Class 1104 included Chad Archer (Gilbertsville), Sgt. Joe Augustine (Chichester), Joe Bohrer (Cheltenham), Andrew Cikanovich (Conshohocken), Daniel Crozier (Levittown), Sgt. Jonathan Ezzo (Blue Bell), Ray Finizio (Maple Shade, N.J.), Richard Gensler (Holland), John Gibson (Doylestown), Kimberly Giovinco (Norristown), Zachary Goetter (Lansdale), Christian Hamilton (Phoenixville), Stephen Hershey (Collegeville), Arthur Hirsch (Croydon), Sgt. John Horgan (Lansdale), Carolyn Hunt (Havertown), Lt. Christopher Johnson (Ambler), Paul Johnson (Warminster), Corey Maitz (Doylestown), Eric Mercer (North Wales), SSgt. Andrew Monaghan (Hatfield), SSgt. Cliff Prescott (Ardmore), Cpl. Maureen Rae (Jenkintown), John Rappold (Honeybrook), Sara Rouse (Bristol), Cpl. John Rushin (Mt. Pocono), Matthew Ryan (Cazenovia, N.Y.), Nathan Scott (Royersford), Anthony Shearer (Port Royal), Shayne Smith (Norristown), Andrew Summers (Perkasie), Cpl. Nick Virnelson (Quakertown), and Gary Zumpano (Horsham).

Cadet Richard Gensler was named Valedictorian, Lt. Christopher Johnson earned the Leadership Award and Cpl. John Rushin earned the Sgt. James R. Miller Marksmanship award.  Sgt. John Horgan was recognized with the Spirit of Distinction Award for his teamwork, discipline, dedication and leadership.

During the ceremony, the McGowan family presented the first Chief John J. McGowan III Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $2,500 to Richard Gensler.

“You set the bar high,” said John J. McGowan IV, about Gensler’s application essay, which describes how he wants to protect and serve the community as a police officer.

Widow Karen McGowan, accompanied by her son Scott McGowan and his wife Malissa, and son John McGowan IV and his wife Kimberly with their sons Jack and Finn, was pleased to award the scholarship.

“It was a lot of work to raise the money to make this a reality,” she said. “But, dreams come true. I am sure that John is looking down and smiling now.”

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.

The ceremony also featured guest speakers 2011 Academy graduate Emily J. Hopkins and FBI Special Agent/Academy Instructor Scott Duffy. Newly appointed Chief County Detective Edmund H. Justice of Montgomery County was also in attendance.

Both Academy Director Frank A. Williar and Deputy Director Charles O. Pritchett praised Class 1104 for their teamwork, dedication and overall stellar performance.

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 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.

The McGowan Family and Academy Deputy Director Charles Pritchett present Richard Gensler with the first annual Chief John J. McGowan III Memorial Scholarship. Photo by Alana J. Mauger

Fall Cadets Graduate from Municipal Police Academy

by Diane VanDyke

District Justice Paul N. Leo gives the keynote address. Photos by Alana J. Mauger

Twenty-three police cadets graduated from Montgomery County Community College’s Municipal Police Academy on Nov. 16 during a ceremony held at the College’s Science Center Theater, Blue Bell.

The graduates of Class 1102 included Jason Aduddell (Ardmore), Micah Albert (Souderton), Devon Beer (Doylestown), Dawn Marie Cabrera (Roslyn), Robert Daniello (Yardley), Jason Daye (Telford), Christopher Dolan (Bensalem), Matthew Duross (Willow Grove), Edward Dvorak (Harleysville), Justin Grotz (Fairless Hill), Emily Hopkins (Philadelphia), Brian Hyams (Philadelphia), Anthony Matteo (Hatboro), Alex Moldavskiy (Philadelphia), Chris Pennington (Holland), Matthew Rychlak (Malvern), David Sangree (Hatboro), Timothy Sebenick (Hatboro), Matthew Trznadel (Royersford), Michael Urban (Doylestown), Alicia VanArsdale (Flourtown), Matthew Walsh (Philadelphia) and Mark Zakrzewski (Philadelphia).

Cadet Jason Daye was named Valedictorian, Lt. Micah Albert earned the Leadership Award and Cadet Jason Aduddell earned the Sgt. James R. Miller Marksmanship award.  Sgt. Brian Hyams was recognized with the Spirit of Distinction Award for his determination, personality and initiative.

During his address to the class, Daye acknowledged that the program was challenging physically and mentally, but that the class performed well.

“It would be my privilege and honor to work with any of you as my partner,” Daye said. “Thank you for the time we shared together.”

Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr. and Montgomery County Deputy Chief County Detective Samuel J. Gallen attended the ceremony. The keynote speaker was District Justice Paul N. Leo of the 38th District, who also teaches at the Police Academy.

Justice Leo told the cadets that a law enforcement career is like a dangerous game in which they would face numerous stumbling blocks, challenges and dead ends, as they tried to apprehend criminals, but they would persevere and rise above those difficulties.

“There will be a defining moment in your life,” he said. “It could be when you are chasing a suspect or have to testify in court. But when it happens, you will know what kind of person you are, and why you are all better than that.”

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 3,100 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.

“Honor, integrity, loyalty, service, teamwork,” Academy Director Frank A. Williar said. “These are not empty concepts but a lifestyle we adopt and hold dear. Law enforcement is a challenging and dangerous but very rewarding profession. It takes special people who yearn to make a difference.”

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.

Valedictorian Jason Daye addresses his fellow graduates.