WEST WINDSOR, NJ --  61 cadets, including 17 from Hamilton Township, graduated from the 22nd basic class of the Mercer County Police Academy Thursday. The event, attended by hundred family members, friends, Mercer County dignitaries, and law enforcement officials took place in the gymnasium at Mercer County Community College (MCCC).  

The graduates endured 21 weeks of training at the academy, including in all aspects of law enforcement, and will now serve in police agencies within Mercer County and elsewhere. Created in October 2006, the Mercer County Police Academy is located on the grounds of MCCC, allowing recruits to use the college's grounds, its library, and its gymnasium for training purposes. The campus includes a padded training room that is used for “defensive tactics” classes.  The Mercer Police Academy consists of two classrooms specially designed for the needs of law enforcement training.  A shooting range in Hopewell Township operated by the prosecutor’s office is part of the academy as well.  

During training, the class studied in disciplines such as use of force, firearms, vehicle pursuit, hostage negotiation, advanced crime scene processing and domestic violence prevention, among others.

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Michael Flanagan, who will join the New Jersey Transit Police Department, and was chosen by his fellow graduates as class speaker, told the gathering that he was inspired by a Police Academy instructor’s pep talk in which he asked the cadets if they knew why police officers train so hard.

“It’s because we always win … we have to.  Mercer Class 22-19, I want you to leave this graduation today with the mindset that we always win,” Flanagan said. “Maintain your physical fitness because we always win. Keep up on your case law because we always win. Take your in-service training seriously because we always win. Know what’s around you 360 because we always win. While on this job, stay locked in and do not get complacent, because you always have to win.”

Hamiltonians who graduated in this class of the police academy include: Gregory Danley who is joining the Hamilton Police Department; Tyler Beers, Dylan Tallman, and Thomas Tramontana who all will be Mercer County Sheriff's officers; cadets Julio Casso, Alyssa DiPierro, Austin Fountain, Michael Kovacs, Alyssa Mantuano, Matthew Martindell, Michael Tylutki, Christopher Vitoritt, Brandon Walker, Jeffrey Pownall, and Justin Walker all will join the Trenton Police Department; and alternate route cadets Ahmet Ekiz and Tyler Vandergrift will seek permanent law enforcement posts. 

DiPierro and Tramontana both received the physical training award by their classmates. 

Addressing the class were Police Academy Director Martin Masseroni, Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes, Mercer County Sheriff John A. Kemler, Hopewell Township Police Chief Lance Maloney, president of the Mercer County Chiefs of Police Association; and Dr. Jianping Wang, MCCC president.  Mercer County Freeholders Ann Cannon, John Cimino and Lucylle Walter also were in attendance to support the new officers. 

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