Nine graduates of the Gloucester County Police Academy 26th Special Officer II Class received Outstanding Achievement Awards during the Commencement ceremony held Wednesday, May 21 at Gloucester County College.
Police recruits graduated with fanfare and good wishes, marking the completion of their nine-month training session. Their coursework centered on the criminal justice system, police community relations, law, arrest, search and seizure, evidence, communications, vehicle operations, emergency medical care, weaponry, firearm and unarmed defense.
Retired Lt. Edwin F. Alicea, of the Glassboro Police Department, provided the keynote address with Dr. Frederick Keating, president of Gloucester County College, and Gene Concordia, Chairman of the Board of Trustees offering welcoming remarks. The police recruits represent Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cumberland and Gloucester counties.
Following the presentation of diplomas, special accolades were given to acknowledge the graduates' exceptional performances in academics, physical fitness and professionalism:
Physical Training Award — Vincent J. Henry, Burlington Twp.;
Firearms Award — Mark D. Berardis, Burlington City;
Academic Award — Anthony J. Abbate, Oaklyn;
Division of Criminal Justice Merit Award — Philip D. Kates, Buena;
Special Dedication Award — Megan T. Habina, Vineland;
Vehicle Operations Award — Vincent J. Henry, Burlington Twp.;
Director's Award — Anthony J. Abbate, Oaklyn;
Perfect Attendance Recognition — Anthony J. Abbate, Oaklyn; James J. Filippello Jr., Bridgeton; and Alexander J. Hubel, Jeffery Parente and Brian T. Rust, Palmyra.
Special Officer II graduates are authorized to exercise full powers and duties similar to those of a permanent, regularly appointed, full-time police officer. The police academy operates as an autonomous unit within GCC's Law and Justice Division.
Gloucester County College is located on a 250-acre campus on Tanyard Road, Deptford, just off Exit 56 of Route 55.