Posted August 19, 2021
Eighteen cadets graduated from the Lorain County Community College Police Academy on Thursday, August 18, ready to begin careers in law enforcement.
The newest group of graduated join more than 600 officers who have successfully completed the program since it began in 2002. The majority of those 600 graduates live and work in Northeast Ohio. In fact, LCCC is the number one location for first responder training – including police officers – in Lorain County.
LCCC President Marcia J. Ballinger, Ph.D., congratulated the class during the ceremony.
“I extend to you my deepest appreciation as you answer the call to protect and serve,” Ballinger said to the graduates. “As you leave this academy, you will be called upon to set the standard in your community. I know that each of you will wear your badge with dignity, while bringing safety and security to the communities you serve.”
To reach graduation, the cadets completed more than 700 hours of training that included arduous mental and physical challenges. The academy is one of the most rigorous in the state, and that’s intentional, said Commander Richard Thomas. Only the best future officers will rise to the top.
“Collectively, you are a bright and shining example of all that is right and great with this country and its youth,” Thomas said to the cadets.
While navigating the program, the cadets bonded, formed friendships and embraced the key points of the academy, including a focus on serving others. Throughout their training, the cadets completed a variety of community service projects, including a picnic outing with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lorain County. Class president Roger Le served as the lead cadet for the event.
“The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters aligns perfectly with what we want to do as police officers – making connections with children and being a role model,” Le said.
Le, who is 34 and lives in Elyria, enrolled in the police academy as commissioned offer with the North Ridgeville Police Department. After more than five years of military service as a captain in the US Army, Le said he is ready to focus his service on his local community.
“I’ve always felt called to serve,” Le said. “I was able to do that on a national level with the Army. Now that I’ve come back home, I’m honored to serve at the local level through the police department.”
In addition to his work with Big Brothers Big Sisters, Le also started an annual fundraiser for senior services provided by Neighborhood Alliance. Le just completed the second year of the fundraiser, in which he puts on a 50-pound rucksack and runs 15 miles. Thus far, he has raised more than $3,000 for Neighborhood Alliance.
Including Le, 10 cadets in the class are already employed by local police departments. In addition to the North Ridgeville Police Department, cadets are commissioned by Elyria Police Department, Lorain Police Department, Lakewood Police Department, Sandusky Police Department, Olmsted Falls Police Department and Mansfield Police Department. Many other cadets are currently interviewing with departments across the region. As the cadets move on to positions as police officers, Thomas encouraged them to stay true to the values that called them to law enforcement.
“I charge you now to go forward to serve your communities with passion and honor, to be consummate lifelong learners, to value compassion as much as you do valor, and to always, stay safe,” Thomas said.
More information about the LCCC Police Training Academy.