Kalamazoo Valley Holds Special Police Officer Academy Graduation

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Sixteen people – 14 men and two women – were honored Thursday, July 9 in a special graduation ceremony for Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s 89th Police Officer Training Academy.

Sixteen people – 14 men and two women – were honored Thursday, July 9 in a special graduation ceremony for Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s 89th Police Officer Training Academy.

The cadets, who began the academy in January, were scheduled to graduate in May. The COVID-19 pandemic forced instruction to cease on March 24. The cadets were allowed to return to campus May 18 to complete the last eight weeks of instruction.

“This is a very special group,” said Director of Kalamazoo Valley’s Law Enforcement Training Center Victor Ledbetter. “They overcame a lot and stuck with it. I commend them for the dedication and believe they will be outstanding, well-trained and well-rounded officers who will serve our communities well.”

Six of the of the cadets were sponsored by local agencies and will begin serving their respective communities following graduation, nine others secured employment during the academy and one is in the final stages of the interviewing process.

The graduates, their hometowns and employers are listed below:

  • Dominic Alderman – Southgate, MI – Battle Creek Police Department
  • Sarah Bleything – Middlebury, IN – Constantine Police Department
  • Daniel Boehme – Hudsonville, MI – Richland Village Police Department
  • Creo Brewster – New Buffalo, MI – Berrien County Sheriff’s Department
  • Renee Gallagher – Coloma, MI – Pokagon Tribal Police Department
  • Antwan Henderson – Benton Harbor, MI – Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety
  • Brandon Hulst – Hamilton, MI – Kentwood Police Department
  • Nathan Johnson – Burr Oak, MI – Sturgis Police Department
  • Paul Kidd – Coloma MI – Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department
  • James Kristy – Ferndale MI – Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department
  • Ryan Metz – LaGrange Park, IL – Covert Township Police Department
  • Michael Pellerito – Coloma, MI – Berrien County Sheriff’s Department
  • Nathan Penning – Paw Paw MI – Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department
  • Codee Stanley – Niles, MI – Berrien County Sheriff’s Department
  • Justin VandeVoren – Kalamazoo, MI – Mattawan Police Department
  • Joseph Walker – Imlay City, MI

Kalamazoo Valley Community College President L. Marshall Washington addressed the graduates during the small ceremony that was held at the Groves Campus last week. Guests were not allowed to attend.

The Police Officer Training Academy is a 16-week, full-time program, typically scheduled Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. In addition, some training occurs on nights and weekends as needed. The next academy begins in August and runs from August 24 – December 15. Applications are no longer being accepted but anyone interested in a career in law enforcement should contact Ledbetter at vledbetter@kvcc.edu for information regarding the January 2021 academy.

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