Twenty-seven cadets are prepared to join area police forces following their graduation from Montgomery County Community College’s Municipal Police Academy June 27 during a ceremony held at the College’s Science Center Theater in Blue Bell.
MCCC Vice President of Workforce Development Dr. David DiMattio, Montgomery County Commissioner Vice Chair Ken Lawrence and Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Gale congratulated the new officers of Class 1801, according to a press release.
Five of the graduates will be employed immediately as officers for Bensalem Township, Lower Merion Township, Perkasie Borough and Upper Southampton.
FBI Special Agent Scott Duffey, who teaches at the Municipal Police Academy, was selected by the class to give the keynote address. He reminded the cadets that their “job is an easy one – go save the day.”
“Twenty-seven years ago I sat in your seat,” he said, noting that his career is almost in the “rearview mirror” as he will soon retire. “You are trusted guardians of the public’s safety. Remember where you came from and be a light in the darkness.”
Police Academy Director Jude T. McKenna announced the valedictorian and awards.
Earning the highest average in his class of 94 percent, Austin Rose, of Bryn Athyn, was named valedictorian. Lt. Nicholas Tschepikiewski, of Horsham, earned the Platoon Leadership and the Marksmanship Awards with a perfect score of 100. The Spirit of Distinction award was presented to Travis Schoonover of Coopersburg.
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 Evan Meoli of Lansdale. The McGowan family started the scholarship fund after John McGowan died in a motorcycle accident in 2010.
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 Conor Staples of Phoenixville and Austin Rose of Bryn Athyn. Quest for the Best® awards four scholarships in the amount of $2,500 each year to cadets who demonstrate leadership and excellence.
Class of 1801 graduates include Steven Ambs, Pottsgrove; Randy Czerviski, Horsham; Cody Davis, Philadelphia; John Dob, Conshohocken; Christian Dobush, Whitpain; Brendan Drakeley, Chalfont; Ethan Gerstman, Conshohocken; Zachary Heckenswiler, Hilltown; Robert Kostoroski, Warrington; Montana Lighthart, Villanova; Evan Meoli, Lansdale; Robert Nolan, Blue Bell; Robert Osinski, Warrington; Michael Owen, Warminster; Christopher Reading, Hatboro; Austin Rose, Bryn Athyn; Andrew Scavicchio, Downington; Travis Schoonover, Coopersburg; Jacob Schwarm, Lower Moreland; Ben Schweitzer, Perkasie; Conor Staples, Phoenixville; Joseph Sullivan, Skippack; Nicholas Tschepikiewski, Horsham; Garrett Vail, Churchville; Derek Vanderslice, Horsham; Bryan Walter, Hatfield; and Gage Wellington, Upper Gwynedd.
As part of the Academy’s commitment to serving the community, the cadets participated in the 5K Freedom Run to raise money for veterans.
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.
Montco operates the Municipal Police Academy in the Health Sciences Center, Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, Pa.
About Montgomery County Community College
For more than 50 years, Montgomery County Community College has grown with the community to meet the evolving educational needs of Montgomery County. The College’s comprehensive curriculum includes more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as customized workforce training and certifications. Students enjoy the flexibility of learning at the College’s thriving campuses in Blue Bell and Pottstown, at the Culinary Arts Institute in Lansdale, and online through a robust Virtual Campus.
As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, the institution is positioned at the vanguard of national efforts to increase completion, improve learning outcomes, and remove barriers to access for students. The College also is recognized regionally and nationally for its sustainability leadership, work with military veterans, community service and service learning opportunities, and use of classroom technology. For more information, visit http://www.mc3.edu.