Galveston College celebrated the graduation of Class 2 of its full-time, daytime Law Enforcement Academy May 30 in the Abe and Annie Seibel Foundation Wing.
In a processional led by a traditional police bagpiper, the nine graduates of Class 2 marched into the auditorium to receive their certifications and to be administered the law enforcement oath of office.
Mary Pyle, director of the Law Enforcement Academy, served as master of ceremonies and introduced Galveston College Vice President for Instruction, Cissy Matthews, who gave welcoming remarks to family and friends of the graduates. Dr. Matthews commended the work of the program instructors and the cadets and congratulated the graduates as they launched their careers.
Graduating Cadet Tait Cooper, who was the class valedictorian, spoke on behalf of the class and gave thanks to family members, instructors and Galveston College for the opportunity of attending the academy.
Guest speaker District Attorney Jack Roady of Galveston County encouraged the graduates to be bold in their pursuits.
“We are the communities that you have pledged to serve and protect,” Roady said. “We are going to be looking to you on the worst days of our lives to be our strength … to be bold.”
A presentation of special awards included the Top Gun award for the best marksmanship on the firing range to Cadet Sanjay Soodeen. The top academic achievement award went to Cadet Tait Cooper
The graduates, all of whom serve with local law enforcement agencies, had a 100 percent pass rate on the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement licensure exam.
Graduates included Garrett Alby, Dakota Burrows, Elena Colon, Tait Cooper, Elizabeth Dobson, Mandy Hendrick, Brian Rawls, Sanjay Soodeen and Andrew Vences.
Cadet Class 2 instructors included Barton Stephenson, Galveston College; Lt. Paul Adkins, Texas Department of Public Safety; Sgt. John Aucoin, Jamaica Beach Police Department; Sgt. Jeffrey Banks, Galveston Police Department; Dan Blackford, College of the Mainland; Patrick Broash, Galveston Police Department; Vancessa Cadena, Galveston Police Department; Weston Dancewicz, Texas Department of Public Safety; Det. Derek Gaspark, Galveston Police Department; Sgt. Susan Gibbs, University of Texas Medical Branch Police Department; Brent Haynes, Galveston County District Attorney’s Office; Sgt. Billy Kilburn, Galveston County Sheriff’s Office; Sean Migues, Galveston Police Department; Wayne Moody, Galveston Police Department; Sgt. Khristin New, Jones Creek Marshal’s Office; Sgt. Raymond Orozco, Texas A&M University; Kevin Petroff, Galveston County District Attorney’s Office; Kris Pompa, Galveston Police Department; William Reed, Galveston County District Attorney’s Office; David Roark, Galveston Police Department; Jackie Sanford, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission; John Siverand, University of Texas Medical Branch Police Department; Juana (Jo) Villarreal, Galveston Police Department; and Clint Weekly, Texas Department of Public Safety.
More than 400 cadets have graduated from Galveston College’s Law Enforcement Academy since it began in 1987. Many of those graduates have gone on to join law enforcement agencies in Galveston County, throughout Texas and the Gulf Coast region.
Above: Nine cadets graduated May 30 from Class 2 of Galveston College’s full-time, daytime Law Enforcement Academy. The cadets had a 100 percent pass rate on the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement licensure exam. For more Law Enforcement Academy graduation photos, click here.