Forty-nine cadets are prepared to join area police forces following their graduation from Montgomery County Community College’s Municipal Police Academy on June 28, 2017 during a ceremony held at the College’s Science Center Theater in Blue Bell.
MCCC President Dr. Kevin Pollock, Montgomery County Commissioner Vice Chair Ken Lawrence and Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Gale congratulated the new officers and welcomed the hundreds of visitors, who filled the theater.
Guest speakers—retired Pennsylvania State Police Lieutenant Berchard Suber and Montgomery Township Police Officer Jason English—offered words of advice.
“This career is much more than kicking down doors and patrolling streets, although we do this. It provides a lot of training and opportunities, and people don’t realize how all-encompassing it can be,” Suber said, encouraging the graduates to take advantage of career and service opportunities.
“Remember to be yourself, be humble and to do the right thing, even when no one is watching,” said English, a new instructor at the Police Academy.
The new officers are graduates of Class 1603, a 48-week evening program, and Class 1701, a 22-week day program.
Police Academy Director Jude T. McKenna announced the valedictorians and awards for each class.
For class 1603, the valedictorian was Cadet Cpl. Theodor Wirchnianski, who had a 98 percent average. SSgt. Michael Thompson received the Leadership Award, Mark Rosenfeld received the Marksmanship Award and Michael Giantomaso received the Spirit of Distinction Award.
For class 1701, Anthony Pletscher, who had a 96.5 percent average, was named valedictorian. Lt. Eric Himmel received the Leadership Award, Timothy Coffland and Cpl. Raoof Mateen received the Marksmanship Award (tie) and Debra Patch received the Spirit of Distinction Award.
During the ceremony, family members of Chief John J. McGowan, III, presented a check for a $3,500 scholarship named in his memory to SSgt. David Kirchenbauer, who was recently hired by the Plymouth Township Police Department. Before starting at the Police Academy, he served in the U.S. Marines Corps, and he earned his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice at Bloomsburg University.
Class of 1603 graduates include: Michael Gangini, Churchville; Michael Giantomaso, Huntingdon Valley; Eric Hassinger, Collegeville; Kevin James, Horsham; Patrick Johnsen, Lansdale; Mark Malantonio, Trappe; Jaclyn Phillips, Levittown; Michael Riccio, Hulmeville; Adonis Roman, Wernersville; Mark Rosenfeld, Perkasie; Robert Slagle, Lafayette Hill; Michael Thompson, Lansdale; and Theodor Wirchnianski, Horsham. Class of 1701 graduates include: Fabian Adorno, Philadelphia; Zachary Amato, Havertown; Patrick Ball, Philadelphia; Thomas Brown, Langhorne; Joseph Carcaci, Newtown; Timothy Coffland, Morgantown; Peter Conrad, Lansdale; Daniel Dalton, Philadelphia; Andrew Danyluk, Telford; Robert Dippolito, Spring City; Michael Espin, Downingtown; Ryan Foltz, Pottstown; Gavin Grosshanten, Royersford; Eric Himmel, Lansdale; Blake Iorio, Robbinsville, NJ; Joshua Johnson, Holland; Benjamin Keliojor, Norristown; David Kirchenbauer, Schwenksville; Joshua Kowalski, Conshohocken; Troy Leonard, Emmaus; Raoof Mateen, Sharon Hill; Maura McMahon, West Norriton; Andrew Moll, Pottstown; Mark Muller, Chalfont; Ilknur Onal, Langhorne; Carley Parker, Eagleville; Debra Patch, West Deptford, NJ; Anthony Pletscher, Hatfield; Danielle Politsky, Harleysville; Jordan Rosen, Wayne; Douglas Smith, Quakertown; James Spencer, Oreland; Robert Ungurean, Willow Grove; Jamie West, West Norriton; Shane Woodrow, Pottstown; and Ethan Yocum, East Greenville.
As part of the Academy’s commitment to serving the community, cadets held a raffle and raised $1,000, which was donated to Penn Medicine Development Center to support cancer research.
Montgomery County Community College, in conjunction with the state training commission, operates the Municipal Police Academy in the Health Sciences Center, Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, Pa.
Since 1973, the Police 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.