WCC Police Academy celebrates 36-member graduating class

September 9, 2023 Rich Rezler

Example alt text
WCC Vice President and Chief Workforce and Community Development Officer Brandon Tucker presents the MCOLES Outstanding Recruit Award to Matthew Murphy.



An estimated 500 guests filled the 2|42 Community Church in Ann Arbor to celebrate the 36-member graduating class of the Washtenaw Community College Police Academy on Friday, including more than 100 current and retired law enforcement professionals who formed a long greeting line and, one-by-one, welcomed every graduate into the field after they received their certificate.

In his remarks, class president Jesus Rincon thanked those in attendance, particularly those that represent the various agencies that graduates are joining.

“I would like to thank the 23 agencies that we represent here today. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to join you in the law enforcement profession,” Rincon said. “Thank you for your continued support throughout the last 18 weeks. I look forward to working alongside every one of you as our careers progress.”


Class vice president Blake Haupricht – winner of three class awards for subject control, vehicle operation and firearms excellence – also spoke during the ceremony, and encouraged his classmates to be the best law enforcement officers they can be.

“As the next generation of law enforcement, we have the opportunity to shape the future of policing. It is crucial that we approach our work with a compassionate and empathetic mindset, understanding the diverse needs and experiences of the communities we serve,” Haupricht said. “We must strive for fairness and justice in every interaction, while continuously educating ourselves and adapting to the ever-changing landscape of law enforcement.”

Keynote speaker Marlene Radzik, Chief of the Saline Police Department, pointed out to the class that she was nearing the 30-year anniversary of her academy graduation.

“While things have changed a lot in 30 years, one thing is constant. Police work remains a calling,” Radzik said. “We’re one of the only individuals who run into things that other people run away from. When you leave here and serve the community, remember we owe it to our profession and community to do so at the highest level.”

The graduating class completed its training over 18 weeks with 820 hours of classroom and hands-on training, earning 19 credits from WCC in the process.



Thirty-five members of the WCC Police Academy Class of 2023 are in-service graduates, meaning they had secured employment and were sent through the police academy by their department. They include:

  • Ethin Miller (Albion Department of Public Safety)
  • Anthony Phillips (Berrien County Sheriff’s Office)
  • Brandon Bradley (Blackman-Leoni Twp. Public Safety)
  • Joshua Olney (Branch County Sheriff’s Office)
  • Randy Washburn Jr. (Brownstown Police Department)
  • Jess Minns (Eaton County Sheriff’s Office)
  • Jacob Ritter (Eaton County Sheriff’s Office)
  • Timothy Shingleton (Farmington Hills Police Department)
  • Grace Corthals (Grand Blanc Twp. Police Department)
  • Levi Stoll (Hillsdale City Police Department)
  • Bailey Cramer (Hillsdale County Sheriff’s Office)
  • Levi Mills (Jackson Police Department)
  • Blake Haupricht (Lenawee County Sheriff’s Office)
  • Jesus Rincon (Lenawee County Sheriff’s Office)
  • Erik Loewengruber (Lincoln Park Police Department)
  • Amber Wilson (Lincoln Park Police Department)
  • Brandon Larkins (Monroe County Sheriff’s Office)
  • Steven Ambrose (Novi Police Department)
  • Nathan Meloche (Oak Park Police Department)
  • Matthew Murphy (Oak Park Police Department)
  • Ryan Bush (Royal Oak Police Department)
  • Paul Rakovitis (Saline Police Department)
  • Ronald Smith (Stockbridge Police Department)
  • Kasey Cappella (Quincy Police Department)
  • Cameron Thompson (Quincy Police Department)
  • Anthony Humphrey (University of Michigan Police Department)
  • Stanley Kirton (University of Michigan Police Department)
  • Joshua Lakey (University of Michigan Police Department)
  • Keven Pendred (University of Michigan Police Department)
  • Tyler Smith (University of Michigan Police Department)
  • Toni Zamorski (University of Michigan Police Department)
  • Keegan Carney (Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office)
  • Deena Samaha (Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office)
  • Garret VanHuysen (Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office)
  • Jeremiah Roberts (Wayne Police Department)

Michael Brish was the lone member of the graduating class who entered the academy as a pre-service recruit, meaning he started without already being hired by an agency.

Police Academy instructors bestowed the following awards upon graduates:

  • MCOLES Outstanding Recruit Award: Matthew Murphy
  • High Academic Achievement: Matthew Murphy
  • Subject Control Excellence Award: Blake Haupricht
  • Emergency Vehicle Operations Excellence Award: Blake Haupricht
  • Firearms Excellence Award: Blake Haupricht
  • Firearms Instructor Award: Deena Samaha
  • Physical Fitness Excellence Award: Keegan Carney
  • ‘Train Like Troy’ Award: Jesus Rincon and Deena Samaha

Graduate Amber Wilson received the honor of being selected by the class to read the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics.

Police Academy graduates bestowed the following awards:

  • Favorite Instructor Award: Chief Kramer
  • Most Dedicated Instructor Award: Sgt. James Meldrum
  • Most Influential Instructor Award: Lt. Alan Hunt

Members of the Class of 2023 also awarded a “Class MVP” trophy to Patrick Downey, Manager of Events & Conference Services at WCC, who is heavily involved in the day-to-day planning of the training schedule.


Learn more about the WCC Police Academy and its application process.


Tags: Class of 2023, Graduation, Police Academy, Public Service Training

Take the
Next Step