Golden West College’s Criminal Justice Training Center Celebrates Class 157 Graduates

GWC’s CJTC Basic Police Academy Class 157

GWC’s CJTC Basic Police Academy Class 157

GWC’s Basic Police Academy Class 157 were recognized at the Regional Criminal Justice Training Center’s (CJTC) ceremony on June 22, 2018, at the college’s Mainstage Theater.  16 recruits completed the comprehensive six-month program and will go on to serve in local police departments in and around Orange County.

Ron Lowenberg, the dean and director of GWC’s CJTC, served as the master of ceremonies.  “The character-built young men and women who are entering this career field today, are entering in the most challenging time ever,” said Lowenberg.  “We take pride in the fact that we are preparing them to enter this 21st century as 21st-century peace officers.”  President Wes Bryan was invited to the podium and was thanked by Lowenberg for his undying support of the CJTC program, while adding that this ceremony would be Bryan’s last as president of the college.  Known for his stylish headgear, President Bryan was presented with a gift from the CJTC, a GWC Police Academy lifetime fitness cap, which will serve him well on his long walks during retirement.

Class 157 graduates include:

  • Stephen Brandon Aguirre
  • Manuel A. Castro
  • Ahmad Terrence Duren
  • Alexa Jo Elkabbara
  • Natali Flores
  • Elizabeth Nicole Gutierrez
  • Jeffery Scott Hanes
  • Kara Michele Joseph
  • Kevin Ladjimi
  • Chelsea Marie Martin
  • Kyle Steven Paris
  • Nicholas Lee Provencio
  • Max Raj
  • Israel Rosas Gonzales
  • Joshua Ryan Schlesinger
  • Troy Jonathan Wright

The executive training officer for Class 157, Lieutenant Allan Roman, who graduated from the CJTC’s program in 1989, congratulated the recruits on their accomplishments and reminded them of their responsibility to the public. “Always remember to do what looks right, and never forget that evil will be perpetrated if you look the other way and do nothing,” said Roman.  “I am pleased to say that although you began training at this academy as individuals, you are leaving as a team made up of very special men and women.”

Officer Jeffrey Hanes

Officer Jeffrey Hanes

The president of Class 157, Jeffrey Hanes, addressed the standing-room-only audience and congratulated his classmates saying, “Our transformation from the beginning of this academy until today has been nothing short of incredible.”  Officer Hanes recounted the harrowing first day of class, the infamous “Black Monday,” detailing the physical and mental pressure the class experienced.  His story revealed how far the class had come, described the intensive training they received, and confidence and fortitude they developed during the real-world training exercises.  “Never forget that every interaction you have with the public, provides you with the opportunity to leave a permanent impression on your community,” said Hanes.  “Whether that impression is positive, or negative, is up to you.” 

Laguna Beach Police Department Chief, Laura Farinella, delivered the keynote speech.  “As law enforcement officers, we’ll be more effective the more we interact with our community face-to-face, and not through the window of a patrol car,” said Farinella. “Congratulations Class 157, today is the beginning of the best days of the rest of your life.”

Lieutenant Roman announced the certificate and award presentations:

  • Learning Domains: Kevin Ladjimi
  • Firearms: Kevin Jadjimi
  • Lifetime Fitness: Nicholas Lee Provencio
  • Report Writing: Max Raj & Elizabeth Nicole Guitierrez
  • Field Problems: Alexa Jo Elkabbara (Perfect score of 100%)
  • Honor Recruit: Kevin Ladjimi
Officer Manuel A. Castro

Officer Manuel A. Castro

Dean Lowenberg announced the Class 157 Director’s Award recipient, Manuel A. Castro.  The Director’s Award is given to a recruit who best embodies and lives by the Six Pillars of Character, voted on by the class.

Today we celebrate our 16 graduates, and thank them for their commitment to protect and serve our community.