Mercer County Police Academy Graduates 19th Class of Police Officers

Mercer County Police Academy Graduates 19th Class of Police Officers

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Members of the Mercer Police Academy’s 19th class stand at attention during the Aug. 24 commencement.

Mercer County dignitaries and law enforcement officials from around the County gathered August 24 to celebrate the graduation of the 19th 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 55 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 19th police class of the Academy, which was created in October 2006 and provides a facility and resources to train law enforcement recruits in Mercer County. The academy is located on the grounds of MCCC.

Elias Vendrell, who will join the Trenton Police Department and was chosen by his fellow graduates as class speaker, said the cadets had made a decision to focus on their service rather than on themselves.

“Police officers choose their occupation knowing that it will be difficult, they won’t receive enough pay for what they do, will work odd hours, miss holidays with their families and be placed in volatile and dangerous situations,” he told the gathering. “They’ll put themselves in harm’s way, not for pay, but for the gratification of serving others.”

Also addressing the class were Police Academy Director Martin Masseroni, Mercer County Sheriff Jack Kemler, MCCC president Dr. Jianping Wang, and Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora. In attendance were Freeholders Ann Cannon and Pasquale Colavita, Acting Trenton Police Director Pedro Medina, and Hopewell Township Police Chief Lance Maloney, president of the Mercer County Chiefs of Police Association.

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. Joel Santana, who is joining the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office, 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. Andrew Mileto, an Alternate Route trainee, received the academic award; Collin Scarpello, Summit Police Department, earned the firearms qualification award; Joseph Avanzato Jr., Alternate Route, received the physical training award; and Andrew Smith, Rutgers University Police Department, 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. (Alternate Route trainees attend the academy at their own expense and now can pursue employment as a certified police officer.)

Gregory Aaron of East Brunswick, Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office; Joseph Avanzato of Hamilton, Alternate Route; Ryan Borden of East Windsor, Rutgers University Police Department; Chaz Cason of Trenton, Trenton Police Department; Michael Chianese of Bordentown, Florence Police Department; Paul Condit of Dunellen, Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office; Shawon Danser of Plainsboro, Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office; Kerim Dere of Lodi, Rutgers University Police Department; Desi Fioravanti of Hamilton, The College of New Jersey Campus Police; Ryan Fratz of Hamilton, Alternate Route; Michael Gettler of Trenton, Trenton Police Department; Andy Gomez of Trenton, Trenton Police Department; Nicholas Gordienko of Hamilton, Hamilton Police Division; Anthony Issler of Metuchen, Rutgers University Police Department; Ariana Jackson of Middlesex, Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office; Robert Janks of Old Bridge, Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office; Joseph Jarock of Sayreville, Sayreville Police Department; Timothy Khalil of North Brunswick, Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office; Jae Kim of Somerville, Rutgers University Police Department; Bryan Kirk of Trenton, Trenton Police Department; Christopher Kosinski or Hillsborough, Rutgers University Police Department; Anthony Lucidi of Hamilton, Hamilton Police Division; Michael Mancuso Jr. of Hamilton, Hamilton Police Division; Eliana Martinez of Trenton, Trenton Police Department; Andrew Mileto of Piscataway, Alternate Route; Ryan Miller of Roebling, Florence Police Department; Elijah Mitchell of Trenton, Trenton Police Department; Dawid Modzelewski of Trenton, Trenton Police Department; Nicholas O’Brien of Delran, The College of New Jersey Campus Police; Quelcia Olea of Plainfield, Union County Police Division; Vanessa Pagan of Bloomfield, Bloomfield Police Department; Algier Parham of South Plainfield, Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office; Anthony Pasqua Jr. of Trenton, Trenton Police Department; Angel Pena of Trenton, Trenton Police Department; Aliana Perez of Trenton, Trenton Police Department; Tyler Plesnarski of Lopatcong, Lopatcong Police Department; Kate Poltrictzky of Florence, Florence Police Department; Glendy Quijada of Trenton, Trenton Police Department; Jennifer Rivera of Ewing, Ewing Police Department; Dionaldi Rodriguez of Trenton, Trenton Police Department; Jose Rosado of Spotswood, Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office; Jamie Sackerman of Harrison, Harrison Police Department; Joel Santana of North Brunswick, Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office; Collin Scarpello of Madison, Summit Police Department; Amandeep Singh of South Hackensack, Rutgers University Police Department; Andrew Smith of Nazareth, Rutgers University Police Department; Joseph Swantkoski of Ewing, Hunterdon County Sheriff’s Office; Yajaira Torres of Trenton, Trenton Police Department; Elias Vendrell Jr. of Trenton, Trenton Police Department; Mario Vidal of Trenton, Trenton Police Department; Victor Ward Jr. of Wantage, New Jersey State Park Police; Shaquan Washington of Trenton, Trenton Police Department; Timothy Weiss of Bridgewater, Bridgewater Police Department; Tyler Whelan of Freehold, Rutgers University Police Department; and Shane Zuczek of Sayreville, Sayreville Police Department.

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