BLE 246 Antonio Washington

Kevin Brown (left), dean of SFSC’s Division of Applied Sciences and Technologies, presents an occupational certificate to Antonio Washington, captain of Basic Law Enforcement Academy 246, at a graduation ceremony Wednesday.

Seven members of South Florida State College’s Basic Law Enforcement Academy Class 246 received occupational certificates Wednesday evening in a graduation ceremony at the SFSC University Center Auditorium, Highlands Campus.

BLE 246 Robert Westlake

Cadet Robert Westlake (left) is congratulated by Richard Morey, coordinator of Basic Law Enforcement Academy Class 246, for earning the highest scores in firearms and academics.

Class Captain Antonio Washington, Jose Becerra, Austin Fackender, German Figeroa, Esaul Hernandez, Adam Olivencia, and Robert Westlake earned their certificates by successfully completing the required 770 contact hours of classroom and practical instruction. Westlake received the two top honors given to Basic Law Enforcement cadets in every class by achieving the highest scores in firearms and academics.

Two former graduates of SFSC’s Basic Law Enforcement Academy were selected by the cadets to participate in the ceremony. Jachin Coggins, a minister of Bridge of Hope Church in Wauchula and an officer with the Wauchula Police Department, delivered the invocation and benediction. The keynote speaker, Corporal Robert Spencer, was an instructor for the cadets and also serves with the Wauchula Police Department.

Spencer urged the cadets to remember the principles of “C.P.R.” – courtesy, professionalism, and respect – as they go on to serve their communities in every capacity from handling medical emergencies to wrangling wildlife. “At some point, you will be a law enforcement officer, a social worker, a preacher, and sometimes feel like a parent raising someone else’s child,” Spencer said. “At some point, you will be the most important person in someone else’s life.”

SFSC’s Criminal Justice Academy conducts law enforcement training year-round. For more information about its programs and ongoing classes, call the academy at 784-7280 or visit the Criminal Justice Academy online.