TSC Police Academy graduates 20 cadets

1-14-17-TSC-Police-Academy-11-14-17-TSC-Police-Academy-3“I’ve wanted to be a law enforcement officer for a very long time,” said TSC Police Academy Class President Morgen De la Rosa, who comes from a family of law enforcement officers. “The experience at the TSC Criminal Justice Institute was phenomenal. We had a great instructor with such a great amount of experience and knowledge that I feel completely capable of going out there to the best of my ability and match any officer out there.”

Among the 20 CJI graduates were seven female cadets, the most in any of the previous police academies since TSC reopened as an independent community college in fall 2013.

“It feels surreal and it’s a very joyous moment that I got to share with my family, and I’m happy that they were here to witness this,” CJI Cadet Victoria Watson said. “The police academy at TSC opened the doors to an opportunity for me and my family that was beyond my wildest dreams. I want my children to see that if they set a goal, at any age, they can feel that they can achieve it no matter what obstacles come their way.”

“It’s empowering and I think it’s very motivational for other females that are thinking about a career in this field,” added Watson. “I have always looked up to female law enforcement officers. It’s been a great experience working alongside them.”

The female cadets underwent the same rigors as their male counterparts in the classroom and out in the field.

“It wasn’t easy at any time,” Watson explained. “It was physically exhausting, it was a lot of study time, a lot of memorization and repetition, but it gets to the point where you enjoy it. You look forward to it and you know it’s coming. It’s not monotonous at any point because you’re always learning something different. It’s 844 hours crammed into about six months. It’s back-to-back-to-back classroom instruction and physical training non-stop.”

During the ceremony, Cadet Ignacio Torres Jr. was honored by the TSC CJI with the Ernesto De la Fuente Academic Achievement Award and longtime CJI Instructor Maz Martinez was recognized by the graduating police academy cadets. Martinez will retire in February.

“We’re proud of the cadets for their accomplishment, but at the same time we’re sad that the graduating Class of 2016 ‘A’ is Maz Martinez’s last class,” TSC Director of Workforce Training and Continuing Education Steven Sanchez said. “It will be hard to fill Maz Martinez’s shoes and we’ll miss him.”

“The graduating cadets put in a lot of hours to get through the police academy,” he added. “It’s a very mentally and physically challenging program to get through, but the skills the cadets learned will help them in their future careers as law enforcement officers and be a benefit to the community.”

About Texas Southmost College
Originally established in 1926, Texas Southmost College currently offers the first two years toward a bachelor’s degree, along with career and technical education leading to certificates and associate degrees, college preparatory studies to prepare students for college-level work, workforce training, and continuing education. Recently selected as a Bright Spot by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, TSC offers 55 programs of study leading to an associate degree or certificate.