COUNTY OF MERCER
McDADE ADMINISTRATION BUILDING
640 SOUTH BROAD STREET
P.O. BOX 8068
TRENTON, NEW JERSEY 08650-8068
BRIAN M. HUGHES
DATE: Feb. 15, 2008 CONTACT: Julie Willmot CONTACT: Julie Willmot
COUNTY EXECUTIVE HUGHES, OFFICIALS TAKE PART IN SECOND MERCER POLICE ACADEMY GRADUATION
WEST WINDSOR, N.J.—Mercer
County Executive Brian M. Hughes joined County, state, and local officials
today at the graduation ceremony for the second class of cadets to complete the
The impressive class of 37 cadets
sat at attention inside
“These 37 graduates represent the second class of
exceptionally trained law enforcement officers from the
The graduates who were trained at
the Academy in all aspects of law enforcement for the last four months will now
serve in a variety of different agencies within
“When you deal with the public, you have an extra obligation to carry yourself in a manner the average citizen doesn’t have to,” Bocchini told the graduates. “Remember, you represent not just your department, but your community and all of law enforcement.”
Larkin, meanwhile, applauded the efforts of the Academy staff, its Board of Directors and the New Jersey Police Training Commission, which first collaborated in 2006 to create Mercer’s own academy.
Over the 20-week course, the cadets trained in disciplines such as use of force, firearms, vehicle pursuit, hostage negotiation, advanced crime scene processing, and domestic violence prevention, among others. The grueling regimen transformed the cadets from normal citizens to first-class officers, Paglione said.
“When they came in, they were rough diamonds that we polished into their finest brilliant sheen,” Paglione said.
Donohue, meanwhile, praised the educational standards of the academy as well—cadets were challenged intellectually and took extensive tests nearly every week of training. She thanked the families of the graduates, saying they were the backbone of the program.
Michael S. Rapiejko, an
Several cadets also received awards for their excellence in training. Rapiejko was presented with the academic achievement award; Walter Silcox with the physical fitness award; Fred Brown with the firearms award; Christopher McKenna with the emergency vehicle operations award; and Anthony Conway Jr. with the class-nominated most likely to succeed 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 creation of the academy saves taxpayer dollars by maintaining standardized training without relying on outside agencies. Training recruits within the County eliminates the cost of fees and transportation of recruits to other police academies. The sheriff’s office alone will save $34,800 annually, the cost of training 12 new recruits a year at the Burlington County Police Academy.
In addition, training for homeland security and counter-terrorism is now standardized among Mercer law enforcement, and the academy can host regional training on gangs, Breathalyzer testing, school resource officer training, fugitive apprehension, and K9 units—all subjects that had to be taught outside the County in the past.
Along with the County’s law enforcement agencies, the Mercer Office of Emergency Management, the N.J. State Police, the FBI, and the state Division of Criminal Justice are expected to utilize Mercer’s academy for training purposes.
The Academy will train its first
class of recruits as Corrections Officers beginning March 3, 2008, which is
also open to
In the future, training for County park rangers will be offered at the academy, also a first for Mercer.
The following is a list of the graduates, their hometowns, and the law enforcement agency each will join:
Agustin A. Alvarado (Bradley Beach, N.J.) Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office
Darrel M. Brown (
Fred Brown (
Thomas L. Burgin (
Christopher M. Clugsten (
George C. Davidson Jr. (
Gary L. Denamen Jr. (
Mark G. Fennimore (
Salvatore Figueroa (
Neil Jantos (
Randall T. Karch (
James S. Klesney (
Richard J. Laird (
Alex R. Lopez (
Ralph H. MacKelvey Jr. (
Christopher J. McKenna (
Kyle M. Michalak (
John Murkli Jr. (
Roberto Negron Jr. (
Russell T. Newborn (
Jean P. Ortega (
George M. Peterson Jr. (
Frank A. Pinelli (
Christopher B. Pullen (
Michael S. Rapieljko (
Peter J. Romanski (
Frank T. Sabatino (
Lucas R. Schwab (
Aaron J. Scolnick (
Walter V. Silcox (
David A. Smithson (
Richard L. Soto Jr. (
Thomas J. Sweeney (
Peter Swiston (
Volodymyr Tereschuk (