The Central Texas College (CTC) Police Academy recently held a graduation ceremony at the Anderson Campus Center for 24 cadets completing the 19-week, 720-hour Basic Peace Officer course. Twenty of the graduates of the Basic Peace Officer-Charlie 2019 class are affiliated with a law enforcement agency and four cadets were self-sponsored. All of the cadets passed the state licensing exam prior to graduation, with a class average of 93.1 percent, and are now qualified to become peace officers in Texas. Guest speaker for the event was Lampasas Police Chief Sammy Bailey.
During the ceremony, several awards of achievement were presented. Lisa VanGilder of the Temple Police Department earned the academic honors award and the Top Gear award for best driving competency. Winner of the Charles “Chuck” Dinwiddie Top Gun award for best firearms proficiency was Jared Tillman, self-sponsored. The graduates selected Edwin Guzman, Jr. of the Temple Police Department as class president. Sgt. Steven O’Neal of the Copperas Cove Police Department was chosen for the Best Instructor award.
Throughout the course, cadets were subjected to numerous written exams and extensive hands-on training in defensive tactics, firearms and police vehicle operation. In addition, classroom work included victims’ rights, Texas Penal Code, Texas Traffic Code, Texas Family Code, criminal investigation, stress management, problem solving and more.
Graduates of the CTC Police Academy Basic Peace Officer 2019-Charlie course were Kelly Metress and Anthony Bennett - Harker Heights Police Department; Stephen Bacelis - Georgetown Police Department; Joshua Bailey and Kellen Burnes - Copperas Cove Police Department; Anthony Bennett, Dillon Davis, Diamante Parra, Emily La Bruzzo, Edwin Guzman, Jr., Crystan Parker and Lisa VanGilder - Temple Police Department; Josh Beshears - Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office; Steven Dekeratry, Peyton Donahoo and Jonathan Vallejo - Brownwood Police Department; Daniel Huff and Brett Whitesell - Bell County Sheriff’s Office; Dalton Menix - Belton Police Department; Darrell Ray - Taylor Police Department; Carlos Rodriguez - Lampasas County Sheriff’s Office; Christopher Bazar, Rhett Levingston, Matthew Mahler and Jared Tillman - self-sponsored.
The CTC Police Academy is designed to prepare students to pass the basic peace officer licensing exam administered by Texas Commission on Law Enforcement. The course includes 33-plus topics ranging from three to 68 hours in length. Approximately one-third of the class is devoted to developing the physical skills required to become a peace officer. Each cadet has the opportunity to attend the Police Academy to earn 23 college credit hours and a certificate of completion. These hours can be applied to the CTC Associate of Applied Science degree in protective service: Texas peace officer. The next Basic Peace Officer course will begin in January 2020 and registration for the course will open the third week of October.