(Bradenton, FL—January 17, 2019) On January 16, Manatee Technical College celebrated the accomplishments of 26 students who completed the requirements of the Florida Law Enforcement Academy at MTC. Four of those students were honored for exceptional achievement.
Amanda Thurber was honored for her skills as class leader. Devon Carr earned the highest academic achievement award. Keith English earned the award for best driving skills, and Gary Cummings earned the class award for best firearms skills.
Cummings represents the third generation of law enforcement officers in his family. When Cummings received his diploma, it was handed to him by his mother, Deputy Rebecca Willmon of the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO). Three other students (Edward Boles, Timothy Downey, and Timothy Finklea) were awarded their diplomas by their fathers, who are also law enforcement officers.
Sheriff Rick Wells was the keynote speaker. Deputy superintendent Doug Wagner made opening remarks. MTC assistant director Dr. Jennifer Gilray was the Master of Ceremonies, and director Dr. Valerie Viands joined them on stage to congratulate the graduates.
The audience was filled with family and friends, as well as dignitaries from the school board, local law enforcement agencies, and the state attorney’s office, which had taught the legal part of the curriculum.
Successful completion of the MTC Law Enforcement Academy makes one eligible to take the State Certification Examination for Law Enforcement, the required test to become a Certified Law Enforcement Officer in the State of Florida.
The awards celebration took place in the Auditorium at Braden River High School at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 16, 2019.