Eighteen to graduate tonight from East Texas Police Academy

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

May 10, 2007 - East Texas Police Academy will honor 17 men and one woman tonight with a diploma for completing the basic peace officer certification course conducted primarily in Sulphur Springs by lead instructor Andy Chester.

Staff Photo by Angela Pitts

Seventeen men and one woman will graduate from the East Texas Police Academy at 7 p.m. tonight in New Beginnings Fellowship Church, 155 North Jackson St. Pictured, left to right, are: (front row) James Hildebrand, Tim Hall, Catherine Minick, Stewart Ham and Allen Johnson; (middle row) Larry Maynard, Marcus Cantera, Chris Bassham, Nick Tredway and Jason Poteet; (back row) Tony Beaver, Gary McLarry, Cory Brookshire, Baret Sanders, Jake Krodle and Dustyn Wright. Not pictured are C.D. Dial and David Turner.

Commencement exercises will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday, in New Beginnings Fellowship Church for ETPA Class VI from Sulphur Springs. Eighth Judicial District Judge Robert Newsom is slated as the keynote speaker.

This year's class includes Chris Bassham, Tony Beaver, Cory Brookshire, Marcus Cantera, C.D. Dial, Tim Hall, Stewart Ham, James Hildebrand, Allen Johnson, Jake Krodle, Larry Maynard, Gary McLarry, Catherine Minick, Jason Poteet, Baret Sanders, Nick Tredway, David Turner and Dustyn Wright.

From among the group, the two cadets with the highest grade average will be recognized as valedictorian and salutatorian of the class, and a "top gun" is also to be awarded to the person who exhibited superior marksmanship skills during testing.

Students are required to maintain an 80 average on all major tests to stay in the class, above the state 70 percent passing requirement.

On at least three occasions, the cadets were required to attend weekend sessions: one for a 32-hour driving course at the main academy campus; one weekend for the 40-hour day and night weapons training at the firing range; and one Saturday morning designated for training in OC spraying.

In order to obtain their license as a peace officer, each cadet must also pass the state board exam.

Community members, friends and family of the cadets are invited to attend and help the 18 graduate candidates celebrate their accomplishments.

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