Press release
Posted February 12, 2021

Lorain County Community College celebrated the graduation of 18 cadets from the LCCC Police Academy on Friday, February 12.

The academy began in 2002 and more than 600 cadets have successfully completed the program, including this most recent group of cadets. 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.Graduates sit in chairs spaced out six feet

LCCC President Marcia J. Ballinger, Ph.D., congratulated the class during the ceremony.

“As you graduate today, you join the elite ranks of the hundreds of LCCC Police Academy graduates who came before you. Completing this program is an immense accomplishment in any year; but it must be noted that you took on this challenging program during a global pandemic. Through it all, you not only adapted, but you thrived.

To reach graduation, the 18 cadets completed more than 750 hours 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 the embodiment of all that is right and good with this country and its youth,” Thomas said to the graduates.

While navigating the program, the cadets bonded, formed friendships and embraced the key points of the academy, including a focus on serving others.

“They have been taught, and have embraced, that they exist as a profession for one reason, and that is to serve others,” Thomas said.

It was that desire to serve that brought Jim Firment to the academy. At the age of 54, Firment is the oldest cadet in the group and also served as the class president.

“What brought me to the academy is what brought us all here – a desire and want to serve our community and to serve others. No matter our ages, the desire to serve is the same,” Firment said.

Firment plans to find a part-time position in a local police department while he continues his position as vice president at Joe Firment Chevrolet.

Two cadets have already found employment. Jeremy Weissinger and Matthew Majercak were commissioned through the academy by Avon Lake Police Department. Many other cadets are currently interviewing with departments across the region.

“As you leave this academy, you will be called upon to set the standard in your community for safety, health and good behavior. I know that each of you will wear your badge with dignity, while bringing safety and security to the communities you serve,” Ballinger told the cadets.

Thomas also expressed his admiration for the cadets and shared with them good wishes as they begin their careers.

“I charge you now to go forward and 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.

For more information about the LCCC Police Training Academy, visit LCCC Police Academy.

Lorain County Community College is located at 1005 North Abbe Rd., Elyria, Ohio.