Mercer County dignitaries and law enforcement officials from around the County gathered March 9, 2018, to celebrate the graduation of the 18th basic class of police officers from the Mercer Police Academy.

An audience of several hundred family members, friends, and members of a number of law enforcement agencies saw the class of 45 cadets receive graduation certificates to officially make them police officers. The commencement was held inside the gymnasium at Mercer County Community College (MCCC).

The graduates endured 22 weeks of training at the academy, in all aspects of law enforcement, and will now serve in many different police departments within Mercer County and elsewhere (see complete list below). The cadets are the eighteenth police class graduation from the Academy, since its inception in October 2006. The Academy provides resources and a facility to train law enforcement recruits in Mercer County, and is located on the grounds of MCCC.

Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes congratulated the graduates and assured them they would have the full support of their communities. “As you join the ranks of your fellow police officers wherever you will serve, do so with the full understanding that your commitment and sacrifice is appreciated by each and every one of us here,” said Hughes.

Mercer County Sheriff Jack Kemler asked the graduates to hold dearly the importance of returning home safely to their families each night. “In return,” he said, “the communities you serve will ask you to continue your daily commitment to public safety and to remain steady in your role – no matter what obstacles or threats are placed in front of you.”

Peter Buchanan, who will join the West Windsor Police Department and was chosen by his fellow graduates as class speaker, saluted his classmates for their perseverance during their time at the academy. “These weren’t an easy 22 weeks for us,” he said. “We sweated, we hurt, and we were tested mentally and physically time and time again. We have failed. We have fallen, and we’ve been knocked down. Yet, the men and women of this class have always found a way to get back up and come together as a team.”

Also addressing the class were Police Academy Director Martin P. Masseroni; Prosecutor Angelo Onofri; Hopewell Township Police Chief Lance Maloney, president of the Mercer County Chiefs of Police Association; and Dr. Jianping Wang, MCCC president. Also in attendance were Freeholders Ann Cannon, John Cimino, Pasquale Colavita, and Samuel T. Frisby Sr.

During training, the class studied in disciplines such as use of force, firearms, vehicle pursuit, hostage negotiation, advanced crime scene processing, and domestic violence prevention, among others. Several cadets received awards at the graduation ceremony for their excellence in training. Michael Tilton, who is joining the Trenton Police Department, was chosen by his classmates to receive the Certificate of Merit awarded by the N.J. Police Training Commission to the best all-around graduate. Peter Buchanan, West Windsor Police Department, received the academic award; Kyle McGuire, Ewing Police Department, earned the firearms qualification award with a perfect score; Christian Crawford, West Windsor Police Department, received the physical training award; and Adam Joyce, Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, received the emergency vehicle operations 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 following is a list of the graduates and the law enforcement agency each will join:

Bordentown Township Police Department: Michael Moloney.

Bridgewater Police Department: Kristofer Grimm.

Ewing Township Police Department: Kyle McGuire, Matthew Wherley and Charles Wyckoff.

Florence Police Department: Korey Linico.

Hamilton Police Department: Denita Allen and Alexander Zuzzio.

Hunterdon County Sheriff’s Office: David Gaughan.

Mercer County Sheriff’s Office: Garrett Bezek, Marvin Deleon, Adam Joyce, Brandon Kent and Jason Magrelli.

Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office: Chantel Church, Jeffrey Dominguez, Victor Hojasbravo, Jose Malave, Robert Massa and Steven Sabo.

New Jersey State Park Police: Carolyn Edwards.

Princeton Police Department: Ryan McDermott and Adam Santos.

Somerset County Sheriff’s Office: Christofer Aboosamara and Samuel Marton.

Trenton Police Department: Manuel Acosta, Dariel Bacilio, Christopher Bustamante, Anthony Cariola, Walter Deleon, Julio Estrada, Nicholas Hogan, Cornell Huff, Anthony Kubish, Lukasz Kulis, Corey McNair, Lizmary Rivera, Vishan Singh, Hector Solares, Michael Tilton, Derick Tosado, Tamar Williams and Gregory Woods.

West Windsor Police Department: Peter Buchanan and Christian Crawford.