COLLEGE STATION — Thirty-three new peace officers graduated from the Central Texas Police Academy on June 8, after 18 weeks of comprehensive classroom and hands-on training conducted by the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX).
The Basic Peace Officer Class #162 began on Feb. 5, tackling topics that ranged from criminal investigations and arrest procedures to firearms and defensive tactics, as well as Texas law and emergency driving techniques.
TEEX Director Gary Sera welcomed guests to the graduation ceremony at the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center at Texas A&M University. Academy Training Manager Lee Santo addressed the group and introduced the keynote speaker, Chief Mike Ragan of the Texas A&M University Police Department, who is a graduate of the Academy.
Chief Ragan told the graduates that the Academy’s goal is “to prepare you for the increasingly difficult, but utterly essential, job of enforcing the laws of this United States and this State . You have been taught what the expectations are of an officer, such as respect for others, compassion, honesty, courage, attention to duty, and adherence to law, policy and procedure .Always give your best, work hard and demonstrate integrity in all that you do. We are all counting on you.”
“Your instructors took pride in providing you quality instruction so you could become capable, unsurpassed, excellent members of the law enforcement community,” he added. “Continue to make them proud by being a positive example of what a highly trained law enforcement officer can do to serve and protect society.” He said they will have the “opportunity to save lives every day.”
TEEX Law Enforcement and Security Division Director Dr. John Ray presented class awards, and Training Manager Larry Frye awarded the certificates. Class Valedictorian was Zachary Strouth with the Burleson County Sheriff’s Office and Salutatorian was Reed Edelman with the Grimes County Sheriff’s Office.
Graduates included James McNeely, who is a Tactical Medic for the College Station Police Department SWAT team and a member of the College Station Fire Department Pipes and Drums Honor Guard. He played “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes, following the pledge of allegiance and invocation led by Tanner Seabourn.
Most of the new officers have begun their duties with area police departments in Bryan, College Station, Tomball, Navasota and Texas A&M University, as well as with the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office, Burleson County Sheriff’s Office, Grimes County Sheriff’s Office, Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
Other members of the academy staff are Kyle McNew, Courtney Reynolds, Robin Crawford, Denise Brown, David Church and Larry Scott. Guest instructors were also recognized.
About the Central Texas Police Academy
The Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) operates the Central Texas Police Academy, which began in 1953 as the Texas Municipal Police School. The Academy’s Basic Peace Officer Course is conducted by the Law Enforcement and Security Division at the Texas A&M University System’s RELLIS Campus in Bryan, Texas. Through an agreement with Blinn College, cadets who complete the TEEX Basic Peace Officer Course can earn 20 hours of college credit toward an Associate in Applied Science degree.