AC Law Enforcement Academy Class 111 Celebrates Achievements

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Gary Stallard
Sports Information Director Gary Stallard, who also serves as a Liberal Arts Instructor, begins his eleventh season with Angelina College. Following a career as a U.S. Marine, Stallard completed his bachelor’s degree at Stephen F. Austin University, where he majored in English and Journalism. For more than 16 years, he has worked as a sports writer/columnist/photographer for the Lufkin Daily News; he continues to contribute free-lance articles on occasion. Stallard has won several awards for writing, including the Golden Hoops Award for basketball writing in 2003, Regional Sports Writer of the Year in 2004, and the Texas Press Association’s first-place award for column writing in 2007 and in 2014. He has also done basketball, football and baseball radio and live streaming play-by- play and color commentary for an ESPN affiliate. Currently Stallard serves as play-by-play broadcaster for AC basketball, baseball and softball games. Prior to arriving at Angelina College, Stallard taught English at Lufkin High School for four years. He currently teaches Developmental Writing classes at AC. He and his wife Susan live in Lufkin.

Member of Class 111 of the Angelina College Law Enforcement Academy pose before Friday’s graduation ceremony. A total of 20 cadets received recognition inside Temple Theater on the AC campus. (Gary Stallard/AC News Service photo)

The Angelina College Law Enforcement Academy on Friday celebrated Class 111’s
graduation inside Temple Theater on the AC campus, with 20 new cadets honored for their
efforts and achievements.

AC Chief of Police and Academy Director Doug Conn addressed the crowd of family
members and other well-wishers, praising the cadets for their perseverance.

“We had good times, bad times and fun times, but that’s how it goes when you start out with 30cadets and finish with 20 – the cream of the crop,” Conn said. “I’m proud of each of these cadets. I know they’re going to do a great job, and they’ll mean a lot to the community.”

Keynote speaker Randy Hargrove, a former graduate of the AC Academy and long-time
member of law enforcement, shared a personal story of arresting a young man and taking him into an office for a heart-to-heart talk. Years later, Hargrove said, he received a message from the man letting Hargrove know he’d turned around his life all because Hargrove had taken the time to talk to him about his life choices.

Randy Hargrove, an alumnus of the Angelina College Law Enforcement Academy and long-time law enforcement officer, addresses the cadets and crowd during Friday’s ceremony. (Gary Stallard/AC News Service photo)

“You’re going to be driving around, and you’re going to be the one who answers a call,”
Hargrove said to the cadets. “You’re going to make a difference in their lives. You’re not here
for any other reason, and those meetings aren’t going to be by accident. It’s going to be divine intervention that you’re in position to push someone from a life of failures to a life of success.”

Lt. Jack Stephenson, Academy Training Manager, offered the cadets his “simple” rules
for succeeding in law enforcement.

“Remember that every department has a budget, so be prepared to spend your own money on the right equipment to make you successful,” Stephenson said. “Buy comfortable shoes. You’re going to need them.

“Most of all, don’t bring your work home with you. Your families worry enough about
you already.”

Valedictorian Lourens Jackson, a native of South Africa, told of watching the events of
9/11 unfold, and how seeing the way police officers performed inspired him to move to America to pursue his own career.

Other cadets earning individual awards included Cory Hubbard (Best Driver), Garrett Rocchi (Top Gun) and Jeffery Cooper (Director’s Award).

Class 111 valedictorian Lourens Jackson, a native of South Africa, address fellow cadets and the crowd during Friday’s Angelina College Law Enforcement Academy graduation ceremony. A total of 20 cadets received recognition inside Temple Theater on the AC campus. (Gary Stallard/AC News Service photo)

The full list of Class 111 graduates, along with their listed home towns, is as follows:
Lawrence Adamick (Groveton), Kasey Ballard (Crockett), Ryan Boyd (Livingston),
Noah Cole (Lufkin), Jeffery Cooper (Pollok), Gordon Denman (Crockett), Jonathan Evans
(Livingston), Jacob Holland (Lufkin), Cory Hubbard (Huntington), Christopher Hughes
(Palestine), Lourens Jackson (Grapeland), Clayton Little (Huntsville), Justin Mangrum (Lufkin), Brandon Martin (Palestine), Erick Martinez (Lufkin), Geoffrey Parker (Livingston), Tykeidren Roberts (Nacogdoches), Garrett Rocchi (Bronson), Britton Shoellhorn (Livingston) and Angelo Vela (Coldspring).

Angelina College was issued a license to operate a police academy in 12 East Texas
counties in September of 1993 by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE). The
academy offers basic and in-service training courses at sites throughout Deep East Texas with the assistance of an advisory board, which assists in directing the academy.

Academy staff members include Doug Conn, Chief of Police; Lt. Randy Holland,
Training Manager; Officer Jack Stephenson, Training Manager; and Kim Capps, Administrative

For information on the AC Police Academy, email

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