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OJC Press Release ID: 2512

Monday, May 2, 2016

OJC Law Enforcement Academy graduates class #37

The 37th graduating class of Otero Junior College’s Law Enforcement Training Academy took the stage on April 27 to celebrate their accomplishments.

Miner Blackford, OJC Law Academy director, welcomed guests and expressed thanks to the families of the graduates. He went on to explain that honesty, tolerance and respect were the main qualities required of peace officers. Blackford stated that this is particularly true for those who will work in rural areas.

OJC President Jim Rizzuto added his thanks to the families and instructors and wished the graduates the best and most successful of careers.

Student speaker David Wick Turner addressed his classmates just prior to the presentation of certificates. Turner’s brief speech focused mainly on the fact that nothing he could say could do the last 15 weeks of hard work and comradery justice.  He finished with a joke about how they would now finally get to see the sun again. 

Blackford presented the class members their certificates after stating that all of these students had passed the POST exam, with some of the highest scores in the program’s history.  Students graduating with this class included: Lane Elliott, Karval; Webster Lee Hogue, Las Animas; Michael Hutton, Limon; Matthew Mercado, Sugar City; Austin Peck, Lamar; Richard Ruybal, Antonito; Nikolai Silvia, Colorado Springs; Ashley Thomas, Sacramento, Calif.; and David Wick Turner, Las Animas. 

Following the ceremony, family and guests enjoyed refreshments and photos.

Registration is open for the fall 2016 academy session.  For more information on the program, contact Miner Blackford at or (719) 384-6867.

Press Release Photo
Graduates for spring 2016: Front row l to r: Ashley Thomas, Matthew Mercado and Nikolai Silvia. Back row l to r: Richard Ruybal, Austin Peck, Michael Hutton, David Turner and Lane Elliott. Not Pictured: Webster Hogue.