Cadets complete Southern State Basic Peace Officers training


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From left are Commander Ron Fithen of the Wilmington Police Department, and the members of the 30th graduating class of the SSCC’s Basic Peace Officer Training Academy. They join nearly 300 previous graduates since 1998.

From left are Commander Ron Fithen of the Wilmington Police Department, and the members of the 30th graduating class of the SSCC’s Basic Peace Officer Training Academy. They join nearly 300 previous graduates since 1998.


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The cadets of Southern State Community College’s Basic Peace Officer Training Academy were recognized at a special ceremony held June 29 at the college’s Central Campus in Hillsboro.

“I stand in admiration of what you have done to get to this point and I am equally captivated with your decision to enter law enforcement,” said Dr. Nicole Roades, SSCC President, as she addressed the audience in attendance. “This career choice is no easy pathway. Thank you for recognizing the value in this important work and for the role you will play in promoting a sense of security for your family, my family, and the community in general.”

“A special thanks also goes to Commander Ron Fithen. We appreciate his vision for the Academy and his continued commitment to the associate degree program in law enforcement. Ron, you are essential to this Academy and this program and we are grateful for your service.”

Five cadets were recognized for completing the program which covers the fundamentals of entry-level peace officer training and includes instruction in laws, administrative functions, firearms, human relations, criminal investigations, traffic accident investigations, traffic enforcement, patrols, civil disorders and prisoner bookings.

Students who completed the training program include Jerrod Kessler, Justin Brewer, Quinton Smith, and Gavin Moore of Greenfield; and Grant Patterson of Washington Court House.

Commander Fithen, a sergeant with the Wilmington Police Department, presented the Basic Peace Officer Training Academy awards. The perfect attendance award was presented to Justin A. Brewer.

The Academic Achievement Award was presented to Gavin Moore, and the Leadership Award (voted on by the cadets) was also presented to Moore.

In recognition of outstanding psychological survival fortitude, Justin Brewer was presented the Fighting Spirit Award, in memory of Sgt. Tim Fryer.

In recognition of outstanding handgun performance, Jerrod Kessler was presented the Top Gun Award, in memory of Deputy Harry Smithson.

In recognition of maintaining outstanding physical condition, Moore was presented the Physical Fitness Award, in memory of Davide A. Soprano.

Most coursework for the training program takes place at Southern State. Instructors are recruited from various state, county and local law enforcement and corrections agencies.

In concert with the Basic Peace Officers Training Program, Southern State also offers an associate degree in Law Enforcement — https://www.sscc.edu/academics/programs/law-enforcement.shtml .

To learn more about the Basic Peace Officers Training Program, visit https://www.sscc.edu/peaceofficer/index.shtml .

For registration information, please call SSCC Academic Advisor Brenda Landis at 1-800-628-7722, Ext. 2840.

From left are Commander Ron Fithen of the Wilmington Police Department, and the members of the 30th graduating class of the SSCC’s Basic Peace Officer Training Academy. They join nearly 300 previous graduates since 1998.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/07/web1_OPOTA-Press-Release-Photo.jpgFrom left are Commander Ron Fithen of the Wilmington Police Department, and the members of the 30th graduating class of the SSCC’s Basic Peace Officer Training Academy. They join nearly 300 previous graduates since 1998. Submitted photo

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