Sending 20 new members into law enforcement
From Enterprise Staff
The Angelina College Law Enforcement Academy recently celebrated Class 111’s graduation inside Temple Theater on the AC campus, with 20 new cadets honored for their efforts and achievements.
AC Chief of Police and Academy Director Doug Conn addressed the crowd of family members and other well-wishers, praising the cadets for their perseverance.
“We had good times, bad times and fun times, but that’s how it goes when you start out with 30 cadets and finish with 20 – the cream of the crop,” Conn said. “I’m proud of each of these cadets. I know they’re going to do a great job, and they’ll mean a lot to the community.”
Keynote speaker Randy Hargrove, a former graduate of the AC Academy and long-time member of law enforcement, shared a personal story of arresting a young man and taking him into an office for a heart-to-heart talk. Years later, Hargrove said, he received a message from the man letting Hargrove know he’d turned around his life all because Hargrove had taken the time to talk to him about his life choices.
“You’re going to be driving around, and you’re going to be the one who answers a call,” Hargrove said to the cadets. “You’re going to make a difference in their lives. You’re not here for any other reason, and those meetings aren’t going to be by accident. It’s going to be divine intervention that you’re in position to push someone from a life of failures to a life of success.”
Lt. Jack Stephenson, Academy Training Manager, offered the cadets his “simple” rules for succeeding in law enforcement.
“Remember that every department has a budget, so be prepared to spend your own money on the right equipment to make you successful,” Stephenson said. “Buy comfortable shoes. You’re going to need them. Most of all, don’t bring your work home with you. Your families worry enough about you already.”
Valedictorian Lourens Jackson, a native of South Africa, told of watching the events of 9/11 unfold, and how seeing the way police officers performed inspired him to move to America to pursue his own career.
Other cadets earning individual awards included Cory Hubbard, who won best driver; Garrett Rocchi, who won top gun; and Jeffery Cooper, who won the director’s award.
The full list of Class 111 graduates is as follows: Lawrence Adamick of Groveton, Kasey Ballard of Crockett, Ryan Boyd of Livingston, Noah Cole of Lufkin, Jeffery Cooper of Pollok, Gordon Denman of Crockett, Jonathan Evans of Livingston, Jacob Holland of Lufkin, Cory Hubbard of Huntington, Christopher Hughes of Palestine, Lourens Jackson of Grapeland, Clayton Little of Huntsville, Justin Mangrum of Lufkin, Brandon Martin of Palestine, Erick Martinez of Lufkin, Geoffrey Parker of Livingston, Tykeidren Roberts of Nacogdoches, Garrett Rocchi of Bronson, Britton Shoellhorn of Livingston and Angelo Vela of Coldspring.
Angelina College was issued a license to operate a police academy in 12 East Texas counties in September of 1993 by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE). The academy offers basic and in-service training courses at sites throughout Deep East Texas with the assistance of an advisory board, which assists in directing the academy.
Academy staff members include Doug Conn, Chief of Police; Lt. Randy Holland, Training Manager; Officer Jack Stephenson, Training Manager; and Kim Capps, Administrative Assistant.