After 21 weeks of training, 17 recruits from Hancock College’s Law Enforcement Academy were honored Wednesday morning during a graduation ceremony at the school’s Lompoc Valley campus.
The ceremony, which was held at Hancock’s Public Safety Training Complex, marked the final gathering for the academy’s 116th class.
“There’s no better training place for first responders in California or the entire West Coast than this facility here,” Hancock Superintendent/President Kevin G. Walthers said at the ceremony. “When something goes wrong at your house and someone responds in this area, the nurse or firefighter or EMT or police officer who responds is likely an Allan Hancock College graduate who received the best training possible.”
The members of the class began training at the Public Safety Training Complex in July. Over the course of their 850 hours of training, each recruit shot more than 35,000 rounds of ammunition, passed 26 written exams and 14 scenario exams, and successfully completed testing for arrest and control, physical training, report writing and emergency vehicle operations.
Deputy Joshua McClenathen, with the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department, was named the class valedictorian.
Dustin Olson, the University of California Santa Barbara chief of police, delivered the keynote address.
Of the 17 graduates, 15 had already secured jobs with Central Coast law enforcement agencies. Four are set to join the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, three are headed to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office, and two will work for the San Luis Obispo Police Department.
Agencies with one recruit each included the Lompoc, Santa Maria, Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Paso Robles and UCSB police departments.
Hancock College is slated to host a graduation ceremony for the school's 142nd Fire Academy class at 10 a.m. Friday, back at the Public Safety Training Complex on the Lompoc Valley campus. A total of 25 cadets are expected to be recognized at that event.