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The student news site of Milwaukee Area Technical College

MATC Times

The student news site of Milwaukee Area Technical College

MATC Times

The student news site of Milwaukee Area Technical College

MATC Times

Law Enforcement Academy graduates 15 recruits

    The Law Enforcement Training Academy held its graduation ceremony for the 15 recruits of class #76 at the MATC Oak Creek Campus, Friday, November 21, 2008.In attendance were law enforcement officers from several local departments, MATC President Dr. Darnell Cole, Oak Creek Campus Vice President John Stilp, Recruit Training Coordinator Paul Stuhmer and Associate Dean of Protective Services Vincent Vitale.

    Guest speaker Chief Eugene Oldenburg, a graduate of this same program back in 1977, gave a speech focusing on the many changes in Police Science since he first became an officer.

    “In 1977, you were only required to have a high school education, now we all have AA degrees, bachelors or even masters. At that time we had only 240 hours in this program, now you go through 520, and that’s just the beginning.”

    The speeches and awards presentations were followed by an insightful, and at times quite humorous, video presentation of the course itself. It showed everything the recruits had learned, from driving techniques to the shooting of their weapons.

    The obvious crowd favorite was the segment showing the recruits recovering from being sprayed with pepper spray to the song “Crying” by Roy Orbison. Recruit Phillip Noche, creator of the presentation, did a first-rate job, giving the audience a complete picture of exactly what the recruits had endured throughout the program.

    After the ceremony, friends and family had a chance to tour the training facilities on campus. Many elected to try their hand on the shooting range.

    Here, recruits had to prove their skill by drawing and firing accurately within 1.5 seconds. Adjacent to this range was the “friend or foe” recognition range.

    Recruits had to traverse a maze of rooms, each designed to simulate different conditions they would face in the field. Bedrooms, living rooms, warehouse settings, even an office were all designed to give the recruits a “feel” for what they may face someday on the job.

    Recruit Christopher Sharkey-Stowe re-enacted his experiences for his visitors. “He just kept saying, it’s not me, it’s not me. then pulled out a shotgun!” He stated, “This was the range that really got your heart pumping; you get a true feeling of what it will be like out there on the job.”

    After everyone had a chance to conclude their tour, the groups reconvened in the cafeteria for a luncheon. Here recruit Jennifer Shevey, who is now part of the MATC campus security force, discussed her experience in the program. “This program is absolutely challenging.

    “My size, gender and age all came into play. The majority of my classmates were half my age, but as Vice President Stilp said, we are all trained the same way here.” She went on to explain that currently legislation is in the works to upgrade the campus security force to a full-ledged police department. “Right now, being security level, we have limitations as to what we can and cannot do.

    “When we become our own police department, we will no longer have to rely on local police departments to come and handle situations we could handle ourselves.” When asked about her confidence level in the training she’s received entering the law enforcement field, recruit Shevey immediately responded, “I’m extremely confident. We have some of the best instructors in the world. I feel very honored to be a student of those teachers.

    “We have individuals teaching us who are retired or still in the field from every level of law enforcement, from local police to federal officers, even those who have protected the President. These are our teachers, these are people that are in the field. They have always been there to guide and assist us now and offer their continued support in the future.”

    In closing, she had these final remarks. “MATC has sponsored me, paying my way, and I’d like to thank them for their support.

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