Ten female cadets – the most to have graduated at one time from Delaware County Community College’s (DCCC) Municipal Police Academy – were among 67 students lauded at the college’s Municipal Police Academy graduation ceremony held last week at Ridley High School in Folsom.

Dr. L. Joy Gates Black, herself a historic figure in her position, noted the occasion.

“Among you this evening, are 10 women who have mastered the academics, physical conditioning, driving skills and firearms accuracy required to receive state municipal police officer certification,” she said. “As a woman who served in the U.S. Air Force at a time when there were not as many opportunities for women, and as the first female president of Delaware County Community College, I appreciate and applaud this accomplishment.”

The guest speaker, Kevin F. Kelly, president judge of Delaware County Court of Common Pleas, also praised the 67 graduates, in his remarks before their families, friends, and many law enforcement dignitaries, college instructors and staff gathered for the occasion.

The Municipal Police Academy is a recognized leader in training law enforcement officers through rigorous academic courses and physical training programs. It trains 95 percent of the police officers in Delaware County and 75 percent of the police officers in Chester County.

Among its graduates are police chiefs, supervisors and other law enforcement personnel, including Aldan Police Chief and Police Academy instructor Kenneth Coppola, Trainer Police Chief Francis Priscopo, and Scott McAllister, deputy under-secretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Also among the Police Academy’s alumni is Jesse Harnett, a former Philadelphia police officer who, despite having been seriously wounded in an ambush in West Philadelphia, gave chase and helped apprehend the assailant. Last year, in recognition of his bravery, Hartnett received the “Man of the Year Award” from the National Police Defense Foundation in New York.

Gates Black reminded the cadets of the Police Academy’s history.

“Today, you will become part of a rich, 40-year history of Municipal Police Academy alumni who have utilized the knowledge and training they received here to go on to become police chiefs, supervisors and some of the top law enforcement personnel in the country,” she said. “You, like those who have graduated before you, represent the best of what Delaware County Community College has to offer in education and training.”

The Police Academy conducts training for the Municipal Police Officer’s Education and Training Commission program in accordance with Pennsylvania Legislative Act 120.

Delaware County Community College President Dr. L. Joy Gates Black with the 10 female cadets who graduated last week from the college’s Municipal Police Academy. The 10 women are the most to have graduated at one time in the 40-year history of the academy.

Delaware County Community College President Dr. L. Joy Gates Black with the 10 female cadets who graduated last week from the college’s Municipal Police Academy. The 10 women are the most to have graduated at one time in the 40-year history of the academy.

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