Mercer County Police Academy graduates 20th class of police officers
WEST WINDSOR—Fifty-nine cadets, including two pairs of siblings, who made up the 20th basic class of police officers took part in today’s Mercer County Police Academy commencement held in the gymnasium at Mercer County Community College (MCCC).
An audience of several hundred family members, friends, Mercer County dignitaries and law enforcement officials from around State of New Jersey saw the cadets receive graduation certificates to officially make them police officers.
The graduates endured 21 weeks of training at the academy in all aspects of law enforcement and will now serve in at least 18 different police agencies within Mercer County and elsewhere (see complete list below). The academy, which was created in October 2006, is located on the grounds of MCCC.
Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes congratulated the graduates and assured them they would have the full support of their communities.
“As you join the ranks of your fellow police officers wherever you will serve, do so with the full understanding that your commitment and sacrifice is appreciated by each and every one of us here,” he said.
Alexandra Brice, who will join the Ewing Police Department and was chosen by her fellow graduates as class speaker, said the academy had prepared the class for the challenging career they have chosen.
“This job is not for everyone,” she said. “It will be hard, dirty and tiring, but that is why the 59 of us are graduating today. We have proven our strength and determination to always be better. Perseverance is in our blood. The class of 20-18 can proudly boast our class quote, “Through struggle comes strength.”
Also addressing the class were Police Academy Director Martin Masseroni; Mercer County Sheriff Jack Kemler; Dr. Jianping Wang, MCCC president; and Ewing Police Chief John Stemler III, vice president of the Mercer County Chiefs of Police Association. Also in attendance were Freeholders Ann Cannon, John Cimino and Nina Melker, and Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora.
The graduating class included sister-and-brother Chelsea and Stephen Arnold of Ewing, who will join the Ewing Police Department, and twin brothers Christian and George Suarez Jr. of Trenton, who will become Trenton police officers.
During training, the class studied in disciplines such as use of force, firearms, vehicle pursuit, hostage negotiation, advanced crime scene processing, and domestic violence prevention, among others. Several cadets received awards at the graduation ceremony for their excellence in training. Joseph Toth III, who is joining the Ewing Police Department, was chosen by his classmates to receive the Certificate of Merit awarded by the N.J. Police Training Commission to the best all-around graduate. Chelsea Arnold, Ewing Police Department, received the academic award; Stephen Arnold, Ewing Police Department, earned the firearms qualification award with a perfect score; Jacob Lloyd, Warren County Sheriff’s Office, received the physical training award; and Orlando Santiago, Trenton Police Department, received the emergency vehicle operations award.
The Mercer Police Academy consists of two classrooms specially designed for the needs of law enforcement training, and recruits use MCCC grounds, its library and its gymnasium for training purposes. The campus includes a padded training room that is used for “defensive tactics” classes. A shooting range in Hopewell Township operated by the prosecutor’s office is part of the academy as well.
The following is a list of the graduates and the law enforcement agency each will join. (Alternate Route trainees attend the academy at their own expense and now can pursue employment as a certified police officer.)
Alternate Route: Dillon Kelly, Hamilton; Luis Martinez-Balbuena, Lawrence; Joseph Randazzo, Chesterfield; John Robol, Spring Lake Heights
Bordentown City Police Department: Kyle Kafer, Bordentown
Bordentown Township Police Department: Chase Potocny, Bordentown
Bridgewater Township Police Department: Matthew Hoelzel, Middlesex
East Orange Police Department: Verashone Edwards and Kiyana Jones, both of Newark
Ewing Police Department: Chelsea Arnold, Stephen Arnold, Alexandra Brice and Joseph Toth III, all of Ewing
Hamilton Police Division: Sean Dorney, Todd Oakley Jr. and Paula Welsh, all of Hamilton
Lawrence Township Police Department: Liubove Bjorklund, Lawrence
Linden Police Department: Michael Amaral, Richard Arnold and Joshua Sheehy, all of Linden
Mercer County Sheriff’s Office: Matthew Pisani, Hamilton
Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office: Silveria Gomez, North Brunswick; Valerie Aguirre, Woodbridge; Fred Asante, Old Bridge; Robert Carroll Jr., New Brunswick; Michael Collins, Milltown; Jacob Geyer, North Brunswick; Thomas Hammel, Richard McElroy, Max Pavlis, Gerard Politi, Alexander Snyder, and Tyler Switalski,
Pemberton Township Police Department: Alexander Hamilton and Phillip Macey III, both of Browns Mills
Princeton University Campus Police: Kevin Chen and Thomas Glospie, both of Hamilton
Somerset County Sheriff’s Office: Alan August Jr., Bridgewater
Somerville Police Department: Trevor Baldwin, Flemington
South Amboy Police Department: Timothy Kales, Patrick Kelly and Glorianni Rutkowski, all of South Amboy
The College of New Jersey Police Department: Kevin Cullen, Edison; Kyle Pukenas, Florence
Trenton Police Department: Marvin Hebert Jr., Nadia Lopez, Oniel Machado-Roman, Alexandria Nelson, Alan Reasoner, Orlando Santiago, Samantha Soto, Christian Suarez, George Suarez Jr., Chaliea Tarr, Ja’Neice Worley and Gianni Zappley, all of Trenton
Warren County Sheriff’s Office: Jacob Lloyd, Hackettstown; Michael Sammarone, Blairstown