Sixty-one cadets who made up the 22nd basic class of police officers took part in today’s Mercer County Police Academy commencement held in the gymnasium at Mercer County Community College.
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 police agencies within Mercer County and elsewhere. The academy, which was created in October 2006, is located on the grounds of MCCC.
Michael Flanagan, who will join the New Jersey Transit Police Department and was chosen by his fellow graduates as class speaker, told the gathering that he was inspired by a Police Academy instructor’s pep talk in which he asked the cadets if they knew why police officers train so hard. “It’s because we always win … we have to.”
“Mercer Class 22-19, I want you to leave this graduation today with the mindset that we always win,” Officer Flanagan said. “Maintain your physical fitness because we always win. Keep up on your case law because we always win. Take your in-service training seriously because we always win. Know what’s around you 360 because we always win. While on this job, stay locked in and do not get complacent, because you always have to win.”
Also addressing the class were Police Academy Director Martin Masseroni, Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes, Mercer County Sheriff John A. Kemler, Hopewell Township Police Chief Lance Maloney, president of the Mercer County Chiefs of Police Association; and Dr. Jianping Wang, MCCC president. Also in attendance were Freeholders Ann Cannon, John Cimino and Lucylle Walter.
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.
Ethan Fisher, Somerset County Sheriff’s Office, 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.
Officer Fisher also received the academic award; Ayaz Kahn, New Jersey Transit Police Department, and Danae Rebelo, Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office, both earned the firearms qualification award with perfect scores; Alyssa DiPierro, Trenton Police Department, and Thomas Tramontana, Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, both received the physical training award; and Jonathan White, New Jersey Transit 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, their hometowns 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: Ahmet Ekiz, Hamilton; Arthur Juba, South River; Anthony Leone, Springfield; William Revesz, Montgomery; and Tyler Vandergrift, Hamilton.
Hamilton Township Police Division: Gregory Danley, Hamilton.
Hunterdon County Sheriff’s Office: Timothy Althamer, Flemington.
Lawrence Township Police Department: Nigel Davis and Michael Hammond, both of Lawrence.
Linden Police Department: Michael Linebaugh and Antoine Suggs, both of Linden.
Mercer County Sheriff’s Office: Tyler Beers, Hamilton; Alesha Bethea, Trenton; Anthony Herold, Lawrence; Dylan Tallman, Hamilton; Thomas Tramontana, Hamilton; and Lawrence Windsor, Lawrence.
Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office: Taylor Clanton, Piscataway; Jaquan Cook, New Brunswick; Devin Gray, Milltown; Lawrence Lenahan, Sayreville; Jennifer Lukacs, Perth Amboy; Christian Paez, Sayreville; Helder Paredes, Monroe; Danae Rebelo, Middlesex; Islam Saad, Sayreville; Jessica Tymitz, Woodbridge; Jeremy Vargas, Woodbridge; and Antonios Zaferellis, South River.
New Jersey Transit Police Department: Mohammed Ahmed, Haledon; Michael Baloga, North Arlington; Michael Dowdy, Irvington; Michael Flanagan, Jersey City; Sean Gallagher, Belvidere; Paul Gawin, Saddlebrook; Kevin Guy, Fairlawn; Katherine Hormaza, Morristown; Ayaz Kahn, Nutley; Kevin Kolbenschlag, Brick; Joseph Mastropfilipo, Paramus; Christopher Montalvo, Bloomfield; Matthew Reiter, Manalapan; Elias Statham, Bayonne; Jonathan White, Jefferson; and Jonathan Ydo, Bloomfield.
Somerset County Sheriff’s Office: Ethan Fisher, Branchburg; and Kyle Lippincott, Milford.
Trenton Police Department: Michael Cahill, Lawrence; Julio Casso, Hamilton; Alyssa DiPierro, Hamilton; Austin Fountain, Hamilton; Michael Giovannetti, Ewing; Scott Hussey, Hamilton; Michael Kovacs, Hamilton; Alyssa Mantuano, Hamilton; Matthew Martindell, Hamilton; Jeffrey Pownall, Yardville; Michael Tylutki, Hamilton, Christopher Vitoritt, Hamilton; Brandon Walker, Hamilton; and Justin Walker, Hamilton.