July 21, 2016, Blue Bell, Pa.—Thirty-two cadets are now ready to join area police forces following their graduation from Montgomery County Community College’s Municipal Police Academy on July 21 during a ceremony held at the College’s Science Center Theater in Blue Bell.
Montgomery County Commissioner Vice Chair Dr. Valerie Arkoosh and District Justice Paul N. Leo served as guest speakers. Arkoosh expressed her “heartfelt thanks and appreciation” for the cadets’ future service to the community, while Leo advised them to “think outside the box” when addressing problems.
“I feel secure when I see these young men and women,” Leo said. “You’ve heard of the television show, ‘America’s Got Talent,” – well, Montgomery County has talent right here.”
Evidence of that talent was apparent with the GPA averages of the classes’ top students, David Schuettler, valedictorian of the Class of 1503, and Lamont Pinson, valedictorian of the Class of 1601.
Schuettler, who maintained a GPA of 97.3, told his fellow cadets they “earned their spots on the stage.’
“We were challenged and pushed beyond our comfort zones, but we also came together as a team. We completed the Academy successfully together,” he said.
Pinson, who had a GPA of 96, described the instructors as “humble and honest,” as they shared their knowledge and experience with the cadets.
“Being a police officer is not only about enforcing statutes and codes, but about serving communities and protecting those around us,” he said.
Academy Director Jude T. McKenna presented the James R. Miller Marksmanship Awards to Staff Sergeant Andrew Miller (1503) and to John Jennings III (1601); the Awards of Distinction to Gregory Schimpf (1503) and Steven Cox (1601); and the Leadership Awards to SSgt. Matthew Allen and SSgt. Lamont Pinson.
During the ceremony, Towamencin Township Chief of Police Tim Dickinson, Montgomery County Detective Jean Morrison and Anita Santry (sister of Chief John J. McGowan) presented the Chief John J. McGowan III Memorial Scholarship to Sgt. James Towhey and Charles Pritchett. Pritchett is the son of the late Academy Deputy Director Charles Pritchett, who was a full-time police officer and part-time instructor at the Academy.
Class of 1503 graduates are: Matthew Allen, Croydon; Sean Camburn, Lansdale; Matthew Dean, Gilbertsville; Matthew Liebman, Cheltenham; Anthony Lombardo, Bensalem; Andrew Miller, Harleysville; Joseph O’Keefe, Downingtown; Greg Schimpf, Worcester; David Schuettler, King of Prussia; Catherine Schultz, Wyomissing; and James Towhey, Perkasie.
Class of 1601 graduates are: Andrew Cheezum, Prospect Park; Nicholas Ciambrello, Newtown; Anthony Corona, Limerick; Steven Cox, Limerick; Justyn Forrest, Shawnee; Peter Gardner, West Chester; Alan Huang, Philadelphia; John Jennings, Abington; Dallas Krum, Bensalem; Collin Leaper, Levittown; Michael Marshall, Emmaus; Robert McKain, Feasterville; Alyssa Monte, Willow Grove; Ryan Murphy, Audubon; Alexis Nagel, Horsham; Jason Nickerson, Pottstown; Austin Pecharo, Limerick; Lamont Pinson, Oceanside, CA; Chad Pritchett, Berwyn; Cullen Rota, Norristown; and Scott Werner, Doylestown.
As part of the Academy’s commitment to serving the community, each class held a service project. Class 1503 donated $1,000 to Autism Speaks, and Class 1601 donated $1,265 to Beat the Streets of Philadelphia, a non-profit organization that provides a wresting and mentoring program for youth.
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.
To learn more, visit the Municipal Police Academy webpage.
For additional photos of the ceremony, please visit the Montgomery County Community College's Facebook Page.