After 10 intensive months and 671 total hours of instruction, various police departments across Texas will be gaining new employees thanks to Midland College's Williams Regional Technical Training Center graduating its first class of 12 cadets.
The ceremony on Friday, May 17 was a big moment for both the participants and the school.
“I want to commend you for choosing law enforcement as a career,” said Midland College President Steve Thomas. “Just be safe out there and godspeed.”
The class consisted of 17 different instructors with specialized talents and 33 different topics – all leading to testing for the state exam, which all 12 passed.
Training Coordinator Matt Tarpley said that the first class helped them see what needed to be added or refined for the next group in August, such as comprehensive testing throughout the course.
“We have a much better plan for next time,” he said.
While most of the graduated cadets have departments to go to, two of them will be joining the Fort Stockton Police Department.
Torie Beecher and Alexis Olivares had their badge pinned on by Chief Ryan Skelton during the ceremony.
Olivares is currently the animal control officer for Fort Stockton, so he will be moving over and his position will be opening up.
“I'm excited to be a police officer,” he said. “I will still be able to enforce animal control violations as a police officer.”
The program was several years in the making to get everything in place and instructors locked down.
The tough program required the cadets to give a lot of time away from their jobs and families.
“That must have been a grind for you and you crossed the finish line,” said Dale Beikirch, dean of adult and continuing education.