Angelina College Police Academy Graduates New Cadets

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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.

COVID-Affected Class Persevered through Academy’s Rigors

The Angelina College Regional Law Enforcement Academy on Monday introduced 19 new members of the law enforcement profession in a graduation ceremony held inside Temple Theater on the AC campus.

Doug Conn, Chief of Police at AC, praised the cadets for persevering despite a delay in training because of COVID-19.

“We started this journey six months ago, and these cadets should have been able to graduate before Christmas,” Conn said. “They’ve endured everything we put them through, and they’ve done an amazing job.”

Keynote speaker James Barge, a long-time veteran of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and a member of numerous law-enforcement organizations, reminded the cadets of both their impact and their responsibilities to the communities they’ll serve throughout their careers.

“Some of you will return to the same communities where you grew up,” Barge said. “No matter what situations you encounter, or who you encounter, remember that the right thing is always the right thing to do. Treat everyone exactly the same, and you’ll never have to remember how you may have treated someone else differently.”

A large number of current law enforcement officers in various positions attended the ceremony, and Conn invited them onstage to greet and welcome the new graduates as they crossed the stage.

Joshua Hayden was awarded both Top Gun and Valedictorian honors. Humberto Gonzalez, Jr. received the Top Driver award.

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 Assistant.

Class of 110 graduates, along with their hometowns of record, were as follows:

Tanya Acevedo (Lufkin), Alan Arreguin (Nacogdoches), Caleb Boyer (Brookeland), Cody Bradshaw (Buna), Cameron Cercone (Lufkin), Samantha Crenshaw (Coldspring), Reece Durbin (Lufkin), Morgen Garcia (Livingston), Margaret Gardner (Groveton), Humberto Gonzalez, Jr. (Crockett), Joshua Hayden (Splendora), Christian Ibarra (Lufkin), Benjamin Johnson (Diboll), John Mack Kimble (Anahuac), Colton McCoy (Lufkin), Justin Murdock (Livingston), Erik Peters (Sugar Land), Anna Reyes (Lufkin) and Rhonda Ruiz (Newton). For information on the AC Police Academy, email policeacademy@angelina.edu.

For other inquiries regarding Angelina College, contact Krista Brown at kbrown@angelina.edu.

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