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Pasco Tribune

PIG award a badge of honor at police academy

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Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 09:49 PM
NEW PORT RICHEY -

Police work sometimes requires a sense of humor.

With that in mind, the Law Enforcement Academy at Pasco-Hernando Community College always recognizes one of its graduates with the Pride, Integrity and Guts award.

Or, as it's also known, the PIG award.

Before anyone hoots too loudly, note that the latest PIG recipient, Edward Feidt Jr., also tied with academy classmate Jesse Francis for the Top Shooter award.

The sharpshooting Feidt and Francis were among 31 cadets honored Wednesday afternoon as the academy graduated its 83rd class in the performing arts center on the college's New Port Richey campus.

"You are entering a difficult, sometimes trying but extremely rewarding profession," Dade City Police Chief Ray Velboom told the graduates.

He cautioned that although the job comes with a tremendous amount of power and authority, officers must display an equal measure of discipline and integrity.

"Our citizens deserve it," Velboom said. "Our profession demands it."

The Law Enforcement Academy is on PHCC's Dade City campus and enjoys a special relationship with the Dade City Police Department. Some of the officers teach in the academy. Others are graduates.

The academy holds graduation ceremonies about four times a year, said Nancy Bunch, the college's director of public service programs.

The 83rd class began its studies in August. The class captain, William McLaughlin, described the group as a diverse mix of military veterans, recent high school or college graduates, career changers and scions of law enforcement families.

"We endured PowerPoints and push-ups," McLaughlin said.

Katherine Johnson, president of PHCC, praised the cadets for answering the call to serve the community.

"This afternoon we honor all our law enforcement professionals when we pause to honor you," Johnson said.

The academy presented one other award Wednesday. That one, for academic achievement, also resulted in a tie, going to Alexander Acevedo and Fremont Shaver.

"This class likes to do things together," Bunch said.


rblair@tampatrib.com (813) 371-1853 Twitter: @RBlairTBO

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