The Hill College Police Academy held a graduation ceremony on Aug. 6 for its first class of cadets at the Texas Heritage Museum in Hillsboro.
HC police academy coordinator Michael Hughes welcomed everyone. The pledge of allegiance was led by the cadets. The invocation was given by Robert Arrubla Jr., pastor of El Buen Christian Church.
The Police Academy Advisory Committee was recognized which included: Whitney City Administrator/Police Chief Christopher Bentley, Hillsboro Assistant City Manager/Chief of Public Safety Tony Cain (vice chair), businessman of Keene James Chapline, Burleson Police Chief Billy Cordell, Johnson County Sheriff Adam King, Hill County Juvenile Probation Officer Tina Lincoln, Hillsboro Economic Development Corporation Administrator Arthur Mann, Hill County Community Supervision and Corrections Director Greg Mason, Baylor University Title IV Adjudicator Frank “Bob” McGregor, Cleburne Police Chief Robert Severance (chair), Joshua Police Chief Shaun Short, Hill County Sheriff Rodney Watson, Workforce Solutions Director of Strategic Planning Eunice Williams, UT Southwestern University Senior Project Associate Melissa Carr, and Bossier Chrysler Dodge Jeep President Bob Crow.
The cadets selected and presented the excellence in teaching award to Instructor Tony Giardino. Giardino has been with the Benbrook Police Department since 1983, and is currently a part-time officer and a full-time professor of political science and history at Tarrant County Community College South Campus.
He holds a master peace officer certificate, is a licensed police instructor, crime prevention specialist, and was named detective of the year. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public policy.
His advice to the cadets was, “to control the things you can control. The comradery and leadership of this class is remarkable.”
Hill College President Pam Boehm gave an address. Hughes gave remarks and Cadet Noe Moreno presented the class leader’s address. Hughes, Boehm and HC Dean of Career & Technical Education Kayla Kelly presented the cadets with certificates of completion of the TCOLE Basic Peace Officer course.
The graduates and their hometowns include: Dakota Wells of Cleburne, Noe Moreno of Clifton was presented with a leadership award and Christopher Roman Sosa of Fort Worth was presented with an academic achievement award for having the highest overall scores in the academy.
Following the graduation ceremony, Cadet Moreno was badged by the Burleson Police Department who then asked for Moreno’s wife, Carmen, who is a Waco police officer and his two sons, Noe Jr., 7, and Maddex, 3, to do the honor of pinning their dad.
The Hill College Police Academy began offering classes in March. The basic academy program involves over 800 hours of classroom and hands-on training.
“Now that the cadets have completed their training they have taken the TCOLE licensing exam and are now Texas Peace Officers,” Hughes said.
The basic academy program is available to individuals who meet admission standards and are accepted for attendance. Attendees must be prepared for a demanding program. The process is mentally and physically challenging. There are significant time demands both in and out of the classroom.
The police academy will also offer in-service classes to officers already working in the field. Continuous training is important. Law, community relations, crisis intervention and de-escalation are but a few examples of the types of training necessary to keep an officer’s knowledge and skills sharp.
The in-service training program strives to advance the knowledge and skills of criminal justice practitioners, better equipping them to continue the practice of their duties and responsibilities in society.
The mission of the academy is to provide training and testing that ensures each student graduates with the demonstrated character, knowledge, problem-solving abilities, human relations, communication and physical skills necessary to meet the professional standards required of a peace officer.
The next class will begin in January with the start of the spring semester. Admission requirements and forms can be found at www.hillcollege.edu/policeacademy.
For more information about the program, please contact Hughes at email@example.com or 254-659-7983.