The Long Beach Police Department welcomed 33 new sworn officers to its ranks on Thursday during a graduation ceremony at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center for Academy Class #88.
The graduates went through a six-month police academy featuring intense academic, physical and practical training in areas such as patrol procedures, law enforcement tactics, firearms training, weaponless defense, criminal law, vehicle operations, community-oriented public safety, and cultural diversity/human relations, LBPD officials stated.
“As public servants and guardians, at times, you will also need to be a warrior, one who protects,” LBPD Chief Robert Luna told the graduates. “However, I warn you not to be impressed by your authority, but rather, be humbled by it.”
Mayor Robert Garcia reminded the graduates of the significance of their jobs and that amid national scrutiny over police actions, they will have the full support of the city.
"There is a lot of attention, conversation and debate about the future of policing, but I want all of you to know and I certainly want the class to know, that you have the 100 percent support of the mayor, the city council and the entire city,” Garcia said. “There is no more important job that happens every single day in our city than the protection of our citizens and the property within our city.”
The ceremony included a presentation of badges by family and friends, the swearing-in of recruits, class inspection and presentation of awards and certificates.
More than 2,000 people applied to the academy, according to police officials. In addition to the 33 LBPD graduates, two Gardena Police Department recruits also completed the program.
Of the 33 recruits, 23 were male and 10 female. The racial makeup of the class included 18 identified as white, 11 as Hispanic, two as black, and two as other.
There were 14 individuals identified as white males, six identified as Hispanic females, five identified as Hispanic males, four as white females, two as black males and 2 as "other" males.
Officials reported 16 individuals with a high school education, 10 with a bachelor’s degree, six with an associate’s degree and one individual with a master’s degree.
The Long Beach Police Department Academy Class #88 graduates include:
- Officer Amanda Aknin
- Officer Tiffany Forster
- Officer Monica Augustine
- Officer Ivan Garcia
- Officer Charles Pruiet
- Officer Matthew Calub
- Officer Genoveva Gonzales
- Officer Ivone Sanchez
- Officer Jose Castro
- Officer Craig Hazlewood
- Officer Manuel Sandoval
- Officer Benjamin Cobb
- Officer Benjamin Hearst
- Officer Troy Schaefer
- Officer James Connell
- Officer Nathan Kane
- Officer Hunter Schneider
- Officer Krizty Contreras
- Officer Michael Leraas
- Officer Timothy Stover
- Officer Marc Cooks
- Officer Melissa Martinez
- Officer Juan Urrieta
- Officer Kristina Cortes
- Officer Kevin Matter
- Officer Brian Weber
- Officer Alma Davila
- Officer Kevin Moreno
- Officer Daniel Wollenberg
- Officer Holden Deaton
- Officer Michelle Mounts
- Officer Elieser Domingo
- Officer Bradley Muhlenkamp
The Gardena Police Department Academy Class #88 graduates include:
- Officer Matthew Pech
- Officer Mayda Zelaya
The following graduates were recognized for other outstanding achievements:
- Tiffany Forster for academic excellence.
- Juan Urrieta for high marksmanship scores.
- Michelle Mounts for distinguished leadership.
- Matthew Pech for outstanding physical fitness and outstanding recruit in all areas.
Above, left photo courtesy of LBPD. All other photos by Stephanie Rivera.