Texas Southmost College Graduates Latest Group of Police Academy Cadets 

A graduation ceremony for ten police cadets was held on Saturday, June 8, at Texas Southmost College’s Performing Arts Center. The cadets are the most recent batch of hopefuls to complete TSC Workforce Training’s Basic Police Officer Certification Program, a part of the college’s Criminal Justice Institute.  

After the traditional Presentation of Colors courtesy of the Brownsville Police Department Color Guard, the cadets were addressed by speakers, including TSC Board of Trustees Chairwoman Adela G. Garza, TSC President Dr. Jesus Roberto Rodriguez, and Administrative First Assistant District Attorney for Cameron County Edward Sandoval, who served as the keynote speaker for this year’s ceremony. Also present were TSC Board of Trustee Vice-Chair J.J. De Leon and TSC Board of Trustees Secretary Alejandra Aldrete, and AVP of Workforce Training and Continuing Education Dr. Angelica Fuentes. 

“Thank you for taking this path and wanting to serve your community,” said Sandoval as he addressed the new graduates during his keynote speech. “As you embark on this path, never forget the values that have been instilled in you. I do not doubt that in a few years, you will have bars and stars on your collars, and our community will continue to be safe for all of us because we have you as our protectors.” 

Police Academy Class President Manuel Barreda II led his fellow cadets in recitation of the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics shortly before each was individually awarded their certificate. Barrera’s decision to pursue a career in law enforcement wasn’t a difficult choice, as he has always had positive role models close by. “I come from a law enforcement family, and it’s always been part of my family tradition to serve in some capacity,” remarked Barrera. “After I got out of the military, joining this program was a natural first step.” 

The six-month program puts cadets through a comprehensive curriculum mandated by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE). Cadets are trained in skill areas crucial to police officers’ duties, such as academics, fitness, practical application, and reality-based training scenarios. Also, they receive legal training from Cameron County District Attorneys, ensuring they have a solid understanding of their roles and functions as officers, as well as the laws they will enforce. 

“We had a lot of scenario-based training such as practicing stops and civilian encounters, all of which were great preparation for what to expect in the field,” said Barrera of he and his classmates’ training experiences. “Even with the heat outside, we all still enjoyed getting out in the field and practicing practical application for everything we were learning.” 

Those who complete the course are eligible to take the Texas Peace Officer Licensing exam, which, if passed, will allow them to work throughout Cameron County and the state of Texas. 

To Crisobal Abrego, Training Coordinator/Instructor for the TSC Criminal Justice Institute, seeing a new group of graduates ready to begin their careers in law enforcement is always an occasion that instills a great amount of pride. “It’s been an honor and privilege to train and guide them,” said Abrego. “Their training has helped them develop a strong skill set and work ethic so that now they can go out there and serve the community as best as they can, and we’re incredibly proud to see them achieve this milestone.” 

Texas Southmost College is certified by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement as a Police Training Academy, and they are always on the lookout for young individuals who are passionate about wanting to pursue a career in the field of law enforcement.

In the end, as the new cadets prepare to head out into their new line of work, TSC Vice President of External Relations & Workforce Development Richard Mesquias sends them off with a final message of congratulations. “Completing this rigorous program is a testament to your dedication, perseverance, and commitment to justice. We are proud of all you have accomplished and confident that you will make a positive impact in the criminal justice field. Best wishes for a successful and fulfilling career.”