TSC police academy cadets graduate into a career of serving and protecting

The TSC Criminal Justice Institute graduated 38 cadets on Dec. 12, 2020 at the TSC Performing Arts Center.

The Criminal Justice Institute at Texas Southmost College celebrated its graduates on Saturday with a virtual ceremony that marks their next steps in the field of law enforcement.

Thirty-eight students were honored for their hard work and dedication to the academy and for their commitment they have made to protect and serve throughout their careers.

“I am always so proud of those who take on the challenge of law enforcement,” said TSC Criminal Justice Institute Director Willemina Edwards. “As a 33-year officer, I know the personal sacrifices they will make and the challenges they will face.”

For Harlingen Police Department Cadet Daniel Trigg, a marine veteran, this is a proud moment.

“I’m so excited to be starting this next journey in my career,” said the 36-year-old. “These are the next steps into my future and I’m thankful for the instruction and training I have received at TSC that have helped me get here.”

Serving and protecting is in Trigg’s DNA. He served eight years with four combat tours in Iraq, two years in the State Department in Kabul, Afghanistan and as a lieutenant for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

“I have been through a number of rigorous trainings throughout my career and TSC’s Criminal Justice Institute did not disappoint,” said Trigg. “The diverse training provided was challenging and eye-opening. I learned a lot and I am walking away with skills that will make me a better asset on the force.”

Trigg and the other graduating cadets in the academy have completed the TSC Basic Police Officer Certification courses one through five, which cover 752 hours – 696 of those hours are mandated by the state of Texas and include training in academics, fitness, practical application and reality-based training.

“We work to add new methods of study to the academy after each cohort,” said Edwards. “We look at each module and continue to add more reality-based training for the cadets. We have several virtual training forums coming in the next year.”

Students in the academy also receive legal training from the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office, mandated certifications from local, state and federal agencies and preparatory training to complete the State Peace Officer Exam.

Edwards added that the academy works with more than 21 hiring partners from Cameron County and surrounding areas such as the Cameron County Sherriff’s Office, Harlingen Police Department, Port of Brownsville Police Department and Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

“Most of our graduates are hired within a few months of graduation,” said Edwards. “Of 161 graduates since 2017, 135 are employed with local law enforcement agencies. Some have moved on to departments at larger cities, while others have gone on to work in federal positions with the U.S. Border Patrol and U.S. Marshals. Seeing them sworn in and smiling is what I enjoy most.”

As for Trigg, with his certificate of completion and a passing score on the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement State Exam, in the new year he will be sworn in as a police officer with the Harlingen Police Department.

“I plan on staying with the Harlingen Police Department for the long haul,” said Trigg. “I’m looking forward to growing with the department and within the community. I have TSC to thank for that. I can’t wait to see where all of this leads. I’m ready to do a great job.”

Visit TSC’s Criminal Justice Institute, or call 956-295-3724, for more information.