WCC Graduates 78th Law Enforcement Class - Wayne Community College | Goldsboro, NC `

WCC Graduates 78th Law Enforcement Class

August 11, 2021

Wayne Community College has graduated its 78th Basic Law Enforcement Training class. The five cadets who completed the college’s academy received certificates to work as sworn law enforcement officers in North Carolina.

Certificates were conferred on Walker Wade Barrow, Chelsea Faith Howell, Justin Bruce Olive, Andrew Brett Taylor, and. Kyree Nye’l Williams in a ceremony at the college on July 28. All are Goldsboro residents.

Cadets honored during WCC’s 78th Basic Law Enforcement Training graduation ceremony are (left to right) Chelsea Howell, Major J. Memmelaar Student Excellence Award; Kyree Williams, Above and Beyond Award; Walker Barrow, Leadership Award; Andrew Taylor, Physical Fitness Award; and Justin Olive, Top Gun Firearms Award.

Awards were presented for outstanding performance in various training areas.

Hollowell garnered the Major J. Memmelaar Student Excellence Award for the student who has excelled in all aspects of the academy. It was presented with a check from the Foundation of Wayne Community College from the George D. Williams Memorial Fund. Williams was a significant supporter of law enforcement.

In addition to being the overall top graduate, WCC Public Safety Division Dean Beverly Deans said that Howell demonstrated a “true and sincere dedication” to the law enforcement profession.

Howell “struggled from the very first day we entered to stay on top during the long hours and never-ending demands of the academy, myself, and the instructors. Every situation they were exposed to, they always came out with a positive and professional attitude,” Deans said.

Barrow received the Leadership Award. According to WCC Law Enforcement Coordinator Angie Blizzard, he exemplified the definition of leadership.

“In and out of the academy, they demonstrated service, dedication, and leadership. They encouraged and displayed high expectations of not only themself but of their classmates as well. They were very goal oriented, hard working, and believed in selfless service, encouraging and demonstrating a positive attitude,” Blizzard said of Barrow.

“Our students are put through a lot of hurdles and challenges. We always have that one student that goes above and beyond to help others, provide support, and do whatever is necessary. Whatever need or issue is brought, they address every situation quickly, thoughtfully, professionally, and effectively,” Deans said in announcing Williams as the recipient of the Above and Beyond Award.

Deans noted that Williams worked full time and on weekends and attended class on weeknight evenings and even some Saturdays and Sundays and still had the energy to do whatever was necessary to support his classmates.

The Physical Fitness Award went to Taylor. He excelled in all activities designed to prepare the recruits for the Police Officer’s Physical Ability Test and a timed mile-and-a-half run. He was selected for his consistent improvement throughout the program.

Olive was presented the Top Gun Award for demonstrating the most overall proficiency in use of firearms. Cadets complete 48 hours of firearms work in both the classroom and on the firing range which includes a combat course, and shotgun and handgun qualification. He had the highest overall average in that block of instruction.

Howell and Williams were selected to speak during the ceremony on behalf of their classmates. They talked about the rigors of the program, the dedication and sacrifices of their loved ones and friends that allowed them to complete it, and the respect they have for their instructors and their new profession.

Williams said that the closer he and his classmates came to completing the academy, the more he understood the saying “The journey is the reward and the reward is the journey” because of “the things we went through together.”

Howell concurred, saying, “My experience in the police academy was a humbling one. The breadth of training we received was astounding and at times, overwhelming. The expectation of excellence is demanding but we are better because of it,” she said.

“Although we are tasked with enforcing the law, that is only a small measure of what we’ll do,” Howell said. “We’ll meet people in the darkest hours of their life and we’ll be willing to risk our own life to protect others.”

“You have decided on a career path that requires tremendous amounts of courage, to step forward and serve your community, to safeguard lives and property, to protect the innocent from harm, and to keep order,” said Interim WCC President Patty Pfeiffer. “You will be the humanity that this world is so striving for.”

Deans acknowledged the mental and physical challenges the cadets had faced during more than 700 hours of training covering a minimum of 39 aspects of law enforcement. She congratulated them for the commitment that got them through it all.

“You have completed the transformation from citizen to law enforcement officer. You have passed all of the state-mandated segments, survived the physical and mental training of academy life, sacrificed a lot over the last four months, and successfully arrived at this new moment in your life,” said Deans.

“The first line of defense for your community lies with you,” Deans said.

“Times have changed and will continue to change. What has not changed is our role in society: protect and serve. We are the 24/seven help line and defense for our streets and our neighborhoods.”

“Welcome to the greatest profession in the world. You now have a unique opportunity because you can dramatically change someone’s life for the better by taking the time to care and truly protect and serve,” Deans said.

Blizzard capped off the ceremony with advice for the graduates.

“Uphold the sense of duty, dignity, and discipline that you feel today. Do not be impressed by the authority that will be granted to you by your badge but please be humbled by it, for it is much larger than you are. Your job gives you authority, but your behavior gives you respect” she said.

With this graduating class, the school has produced 1,185 graduates since its inception as a curriculum program 1983. Currently, WCC graduates work for 52 different law enforcement agencies throughout North Carolina.

WCC’s academy is accredited by the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission and North Carolina Sheriffs’ Education and Training Standards Commission through the N.C. Community College System.

Wayne Community College is a public, learning-centered institution with an open-door admission policy located in Goldsboro, N.C. As it works to develop a highly skilled and competitive workforce, the college serves 11,000 individuals annually as well as businesses, industry, and community organizations with high quality, affordable, accessible learning opportunities, including more than 165 college credit programs. WCC’s mission is to meet the educational, training, and cultural needs of the communities it serves.