Cadets Graduate From Municipal Police Academy, Collect Food For Local Pantries

During his keynote address, Lower Moreland Township Police Sgt. David Scirrotto asked all veterans on stage and in the audience to stand and be recognized for their service in honor of Veterans Day.   Photos by Sandi Yanisko

During his keynote address, Lower Moreland Township Police Sgt. David Scirrotto asked all veterans on stage and in the audience to stand and be recognized for their service in honor of Veterans Day.
Photos by Sandi Yanisko

Blue Bell, Pa.—Twenty-seven cadets graduated from Montgomery County Community College’s (MCCC) Municipal Police Academy on Nov. 11 during a ceremony held at the Central Campus in Blue Bell.

Teamwork and service were themes of the evening, starting with class 1502 valedictorian, Cadet Brian Colucci, of Plymouth Meeting, during his address.

“What I admired most about our class is that there’s more than just one leader. I knew if we worked together, this team could reach its goal. Keeping together as a team leads to success,” he said.

Selected by the class to provide the evening’s keynote address, Lower Moreland Township Police Sgt. David Scirrotto shared stories of the cadets during their time at the academy, especially time spent under his instruction.

“Every day I spend with them, I become a better officer and man. These men and women should remind us every day why we put on this uniform,” he shared.

An alumnus of the academy himself, Scirrotto added, “I can only hope to be as positive a role to these cadets as the academy’s instructors were to me.”

For their service project, cadets collected food and monetary donations for Advocates Against Hunger, which coordinates food delivery and education efforts with a number of soup kitchens and food pantries in the Norristown region. Kary LaFors, director of the Community Interfaith Food Pantry at Grace Lutheran Church, was on hand to accept the donations on behalf of Advocates Against Hunger.

Municipal Police Academy Director Jude McKenna presented a series of awards as part of the ceremony. Cadet SSgt. Jeffrey Wagner, of Levittown, received the Platoon Leader Award of Merit. Cadet Michael Aluise, of Warwick, received the James R. Miller Marksmanship Award, presented in memory of Upper Dublin Police Sergeant Jim Miller, who died in an automobile accident while on duty in 2004. The Award of Distinction, given to cadets who demonstrate exemplary dedication and teamwork, went to Cadet James Garrity, of Wayne.

Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce Castor joined MCCC officials—Dr. James Linksz, interim president; Dr. Victoria Bastecki-Perez, vice president of academic affairs and provost; Dr. Aaron Shatzman, dean of social sciences; and John Caperilla, chair of the Alumni Association Board of Directors—in confirming the graduate’s certificates.

“There are no police officers trained better than they are in Montgomery County. We’re exceptionally proud of the work we do, not only with our Act 120 training, but also with our associate’s degree programs in Criminal Justice,” shared Castor, noting that he will retire from public service in December after a 30-year career.

Several local law enforcement officials also attended the ceremony, including the Color Guard from the Lower Merion Township Police Department and Montgomery County Department of Public Safety First Deputy Director Jesse Stemple.

MCCC Municipal Police Academy class 1502 graduates include Michael Aluise, Warwick; Tyler Aspell, Levittown; Brian Colucci, Plymouth Meeting; Joseph Cotellese, Warminster; Jaclyn Daly, Ridley Park; James Garrity, Wayne; Stephen Hafele, Folsom; Douglas Harris, Lansdale; John Hearn, Richboro; Christopher Hens, Horsham; Jonathan Joseph, Drexel Hill; John Konway, Abington; Luke McIlvaine, Feasterville; Tanner Noecker, Roxborough; Matthew Ortlieb, North Wales; Michael Parnes, Harleysville; David Parysz, Yardley; Terry Reifsnyder, Royersford; Kevin Riley, Cheltenham; William Seiler, Trappe; Matthew Shannon, Bridgeport; Kristian Shaw, Abington; Ian Stanley, Warminister; Austin Urkuski, Audubon; Jeffrey Wagner, Levittown; Michael Wambold, Hatboro; and Cynthia Yoder, Conshohocken.

MCCC, in conjunction with the Pennsylvania State Training Commission, operates the Municipal Police Academy at the Montgomery County Public Safety Training Campus, 1175 Conshohocken Road, Conshohocken. The academy offers four cohorts of the 800-hour Municipal Police Basic Training Curriculum, also known as PA Act 120, annually

The academy has been the training ground for more than 3,600 cadets with a consistent graduation rate of more than 90 percent. The curriculum allows successful students to articulate up to 15 credit hours toward an associate’s degree in Criminal Justice Studies at MCCC.

To learn more, visit http://www.mc3.edu/academics and select Areas of Study, followed by Social Sciences, then Career Training Programs.

Cadets Graduate From MCCC Municipal Police Academy, Raise $3,000 For Angel Trust Fund

Photos by Matt Carlin Police 1: Cadet Lt. Brian Manion (right), Conshohocken, presents Class 1404 Valedictorian James Reilly, Chalfont, with a certificate for his academic accomplishments.

Photos by Matt Carlin
Police 1: Cadet Lt. Brian Manion (right), Conshohocken, presents Class 1404 Valedictorian James Reilly, Chalfont, with a certificate for his academic accomplishments.

Blue Bell, Pa.— Thirty-one cadets graduated from Montgomery County Community College’s Municipal Police Academy Class 1404 on March 25 during a ceremony held at the College’s Science Center Theater, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell.

The cadets took on a special project during their 22-week program at the academy: raising funds for the Chester County Angel Trust through DNB First Wealth Management to help six-year-old abuse victim Ryan McMillian rebuild his life. During a guest lecture at the academy, Chester County Deputy District Attorney Michelle Frei shared details surrounding the 2014 murder of Ryan’s three-year-old brother Scotty McMillian, prompting the cadets to take action.

During the ceremony, Cadet Sarah Couch, Royersford, presented Frei and attorney Skip Persick, who oversees the trust, with a check for $3,000. According to Persick, the money will ultimately be used for McMillian’s education expenses to “create a career for this young man.”

Photos by Matt Carlin Police 2: Cadet Tori Adams (left), Langhorne, receives the James R. Miller Marksmanship Award from Cadet Lt. Brian Manion.

Photos by Matt Carlin
Police 2: Cadet Tori Adams (left), Langhorne, receives the James R. Miller Marksmanship Award from Cadet Lt. Brian Manion.

Cadet Cpl. Nicollette DeBiasio, Oaks, led the Pledge of Allegiance to begin the formal portion of the ceremony, followed by a moment of reflection from Director of Criminal Justice, Fire Science and Emergency Management and Planning programs Benn Prybutok. Cadet Daniel Mease, Bethlehem, served as color bearer.

Parkesburg Borough Police Department Chief Brian Sheller was selected by class 1404 to give the keynote address, during which challenged the cadets to “make a difference” in the communities they serve.

“Police are many things to many people in their times of need. Treat everyone with dignity and respect,” shared Sheller, who is also an instructor at the Academy.

Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr. and Montgomery County Department of Public Safety First Deputy Director Jesse Stemple were also in attendance, along with representatives from Abington, Bethlehem, Falls Township, and Upper Merion Township police departments. From MCCC, Dr. Aaron Shatzman, dean of social sciences, and Suzanne Holloman, dean of workforce development, assisted with certificate confirmation.

Photos by Matt Carlin Police 3: Cadet Lt. Brian Manion (right) presents Cadet Cpl. Amal Yasin, Philadelphia, with the Award of Distinction, given to a cadet who demonstrates exemplary dedication and teamwork.

Photos by Matt Carlin
Police 3: Cadet Lt. Brian Manion (right) presents Cadet Cpl. Amal Yasin, Philadelphia, with the Award of Distinction, given to a cadet who demonstrates exemplary dedication and teamwork.

Earning the highest GPA in his class, Cadet James Reilly, Chalfont, offered remarks on behalf of the graduates. He described impact of the moment when, as a group, the cadets’ focus shifted from individual success to class success.

“It was about being better as a class, and successful as a class,” he shared, before thanking the academy’s leadership, faculty, family and friends for their support.

Interim Municipal Police Academy Director Jude McKenna presented a series of awards as part of the ceremony. Cadet Lt. Brian Manion, Conshohocken, received the Platoon Leader Award of Merit. Cadet Tori Adams, Langhorne, received the James R. Miller Marksmanship Award, presented in memory of Upper Dublin Police Sergeant Jim Miller, who died in an automobile accident while on duty in 2004. And the Award of Distinction, given to a cadet who demonstrates exemplary dedication and teamwork, went to Cadet Cpl. Amal Yasin, Philadelphia.

Cadets from class 1404 attended the academy full time, Monday through Friday for 22 weeks. Graduates include Cadet Cpl. Kevin Adams, Horsham; Tori Adams, Langhorne; Cadet Ssgt. John Beck, Hatboro; Alex Beres, Schwenksville; Mark Borkowski, Blue Bell; Cadet Sgt. Patrick Brehm, Bethlehem; Cadet Sgt. Daniel Chonko, Upper Black Eddy; Sarah Couch, Royersford; Jose Cruz, Warrington; Cadet Cpl. Nicollette DeBiasio, Oaks; Madeline Elgazzar, Blue Bell; Bradley Guldin, Royersford; John Krchnavy, Hellertown; Carl Kruse, Glenside; Samantha Lehman, Perkasie; Cadet Cpl. Ronald MacPherson, Langhorne; Cadet Lt. Brian Manion, Conshohocken; Daniel Mease, Bethlehem; Reinaldo Melendez, West Chester; Ryan Melley, Ridgefield Park, N.J.; Nicholas Phillips, Reading; Cadet Sgt. Daniel Prior, Harleysville; James Reilly, Chalfont; Patrick Rooney, Philadelphia; John Sands, Warminister; Cadet Ssgt. Erik Schwab, Bensalem; cadet Sgt. Joshua VanHorn, Brookhaven; Nicholas Windfelder, Quakertown; Cadet Cpl. Amal Yasin, Philadelphia; Cody Young, Sellersville; and Darrien Zivkovic, Hatboro.

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 more than 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.

Cadets Graduate From MCCC Municipal Police Academy

Blue Bell, Pa.—“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 (MCCC) 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, MCCC dean of Social Sciences; Dr. Victoria Bastecki-Perez, MCCC 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.”

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 Cadets 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; David Arredondo, Stockton, Calif.; Ryan Cifelli, Chalfont; John Davis, Douglassville; Colleen Harner, Glenside; Marc Laing, Trappe; Christopher Miller, Gilbertsville; Aamir Raza, Warrington; Kevin Siebert, Oreland; John Smart, Bensalem; Steffy Shane, Perkiomenville; 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.