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.