Twenty-seven recruits saw their sacrifice, hard work and dedication over the last 21 weeks pay off on Thursday as they graduated from Allan Hancock College’s Law Enforcement Academy. The college held the graduation ceremony for Class #112 at its state-of-the-art Public Safety Training Complex in Lompoc.
“We’re honored by the sacrifice of these young men and women who have dedicated themselves to a life of public service,” said Kevin G. Walthers, Ph.D., Hancock superintendent/ president. “When something goes wrong at your house and someone responds, it’s probably a community college graduate who shows up in that ambulance, police car or fire truck. They are community college graduates, who are there to help in your time of need. I can assure you that if you’re in a moment of need, and you need a law enforcement officer, you’re going to want an Allan Hancock College graduate.”
Recruits started training at the Public Safety Training Complex in Lompoc in January. Nearly 830 hours of training later, each recruit shot more than 70,000 rounds of ammunition, passed 14 scenario exams and 26 written exams, as well as successfully completed testing for arrest and control, physical training, report writing and emergency vehicle operations.
“These graduates have received the best training at this premier facility from some of the very best instructors the law enforcement field has to offer,” said Jake Miller, Pismo Beach Police Chief, who delivered the keynote address.
Miller encouraged graduates during his speech to always follow the common courtesies of life and always show respect.
“Never compromise your integrity. The only thing that will allow us to do the job that we need to do is if the community trusts us,” said Miller, a graduate of Hancock’s Law Enforcement Training Academy. “Find your niche, be humble, keep your humor, know that what you do is one of the most respectable jobs that you could possibly do, stay safe, good luck and Godspeed.”
Twenty-six of the 27 graduates already have jobs with law enforcement agencies. Eight recruits will join the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office. Four will work for the Paso Robles Police Department, and four more were hired by the Santa Maria Police Department. The Pismo Beach Police Department hired three recruits. Two students will wear badges for the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office and two for Atascadero Police Department. The Lompoc, San Luis Obispo and Shafter police departments hired one recruit apiece.
Class #112 featured four women, seven former collegiate athletes and six United States military veterans.
“Our instructors have pushed us beyond what we thought we could achieve. I can attest that each recruit here is a stronger, more capable individual,” said Kenneth Stanley, class valedictorian, who was hired by the Paso Robles Police Department. “We have been through one of the most stringent academies in California and it is now time to apply what we have learned in the real world. We are about to embark on a great and exciting adventure. We must hold ourselves to high standards, serve with honor and respect, wear the uniform with pride and always treat others as we would want to be treated. Class 112, let’s face the challenge, never quit and live with honor.”
Twelve class awards were handed out during the ceremony. Some of the winners included: Leadership Award: Robert Alvidres, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office; Academic Achievement Award: Josh Hernandez, Lompoc Police Department; Leigh Horn Memorial Award for Most Improved: Nicole Sanchez, San Luis Obispo Police Deparment; Leo Ortega Memorial Award for Most Inspirational: Joshua Yee, Santa Maria Police Department.
In addition to the written and skills tests, recruits underwent hours of physical training. As a class, recruits completed more than 3,000 sit-ups, more than 63,000 pull-ups, 80,000 push-ups, and ran more than 1,200 miles. Twelve of the recruits lived away from their hometowns the last six months, either staying at area hotels or renting a house in Lompoc. One recruit will also complete his master’s degree in criminal justice later this month.
Sponsoring/Hiring Departments of Class 112:
Atascadero Police (2): Craig Martineau, Dustin Virgil
Independent (1): Garrison Heather
Lompoc Police (1): Joshua Hernandez
Paso Robles Police (4): Alexandria Ellis, Joseph Gonzalez, Garrett Silva, Kenneth Stanley
Pismo Beach Police (3): William Anderson, Maria Espinoza, Erik Jimenez
San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office (2): Jacob Gersh, Brent Savage
San Luis Obispo Police (1): Nicole Sanchez
Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office (8): Robert Alvidres, Francesca Arnoldi, Shawn Banks, Matthew Cianciarulo, Damien Marquez, Luis Ruiz, Garrett Savey, David Vanderpol
Santa Maria Police (4): Jake Fell, Daniel Meraz, Michael Sanchez, Joshua Yee
Shafter (1): Ricardo Castro