MAC Law Enforcement Academy Holds Graduation Ceremony
December 18, 2017
Mineral Area College students of the 1,000 Hour Basic Peace Officer Training program walked through their commencement ceremony held at the community college’s Fine Arts Theater on Dec. 14. They had begun the program.
Graduating students were:
Adam Ballew, Fredericktown; Brandon Barnes, Annapolis; Taylor Brown, Bonne Terre; Kyle Danback, Fredericktown; Courtney Fierce, Desoto; Avery Fischer, Desloge; Ethan Haworth, Belgrade; Kristopher Kappler, Farmington; Sarah Locke, De Soto; Matthew Misuraca, Bonne Terre; Steven Rion, Bismarck; Frankie Ruch, De Soto.
A number of awards were given:
• Valedictorian: Avery Fischer, 99.7%;
• Academic Acheivement (90% Or Above): Ballew, Barnes, Brown, Danbeck, Fierce, Fischer, Haworth, Kappler, Locke, Misuraca, Rion, Ruch;
• Handgun: Brandon Barnes;
• Shotgun: Ruch, Danbeck;
• Patrol Rifle: Brandon Barnes;
• Defensive Tactics: Adam Ballew;
• Physical Training Achievement: Kristopher Kappler, Steven Rion;
• First Responder Award: Haworth;
• Top Physical Training Achievement: Derek Richard.
LEA Director Rich Flotron was the coordinator of the event, and spoke of the importance of the field to a safe society, and noted thousands of men and women have laid down their lives in order to serve and protect.
“Last Friday night, I had the privilege of being the keynote speaker for the Backstoppers banquet,” he said. “It is an honor to work among dedicated and committed professionals, and when one falls in the line of duty, we all grieve with the families, agencies and communities.”
The commencement ceremony’s keynote speaker was Lt. Larry Lacey, a 33-year veteran with the Farmington Police Department. Lacey trained at St. Charles Police Academy and MAC LEA. He began working for FPD in 1984 as a dispatcher. He was later promoted to dispatch supervisor before becoming a full-time, commissioned officer in 1987 and assigned as a traffic officer in 1990. He was promoted to corporal in 1990, sergeant in 2001 and lieutenant in 2008.
“Law enforcement isn’t always about chasing the bad guy. It’s not always about making the arrest or writing tickets,” he told the graduates and assembled audience of law enforcement personnel, friends and family.
“There are other duties involved in law enforcement,” he continued. “You may be called to administer first aid to an injured person. Give a tour of the police station to Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts. Be assigned to wear the McGruff the Crime Dog outfit while visiting a daycare or preschool. Be asked to give a talk to a civic group or organization. Answer questions of a little boy or a little girl about what everything is on the belt you wear. ‘What’s this? What’s that? What’s that for?’ Help a small child look for a pet he just lost. Comfort a parent to whom you’ve just had to give sad information.
“None of these things has to do with enforcing the law, but they have everything to do with law enforcement.”
Lacey commands the Communications Division and the field training program at FPD. He is responsible for departmental training and equipment purchases as well as the department vehicle fleet. He oversees the maintenance of the departmental gun range, and is responsible for conducting traffic surveys and counts. He also oversees the traffic grants applied for and received through the Division of Highway Safety. He is an accident reconstructionist and has countless hours of training from the Missouri State Highway Patrol in traffic accident investigation and reconstruction.
For 17 years, Lacey has taught for MAC LEA. He teaches the department’s Type III DMT training, National Highway Traffic Safety Association Standardized Field Sobriety certification along with DWI detection and enforcement, traffic radar and defensive driving courses.
The class president, Courtney Fierce, also spoke and thanked the Mineral Area College instructors and staff who made the day possible.
The ceremony ended with the benediction by The Rev. Kevin Kappler.