June 16 was a big day for the OCC Police Academy, which celebrated its 50th graduation since the program’s establishment in 1967. Recognized as a leading police training facility in the State of Michigan, the Police Academy consistently graduates high achievers through a combination of skilled and experienced training staff and hands-on training through CREST (Combined Regional Emergency Services Training).
The June ceremony recognized 33 new graduates – 17 from various agencies in the area and 16 pre-service or self-sponsored candidates.
“Our graduates represent courage, compassion and dedication to our community,” said Interim Chancellor Peter Provenzano. “They are committed by oath and honor to protect and serve, and we are indebted to them for their service.”
Graduating Police Academy class president Samuel Hannum added, “This is where we start representing every officer in the United States.”
CREST is the region’s unique training center, developed by local Police, Fire and EMS agencies in collaboration with Oakland Community College. It includes furnished houses, a bank, convenience store, motel and five-story live fire-training tower on Oakland Community College’s Auburn Hills Campus. The CREST site offers an experience where real-life scenarios are simulated by trainees who must not only think through options and decisions, but also actively apply their public safety skills.
OCC offers advance training, degrees and certificates in public safety fields including Police, Fire, EMS and Emergency Dispatch. It is is overseen by a new interim dean, Lt. David Cece, former OCC public safety officer.
OCC is also pleased to announce two new endowed scholarships related to CREST. The first, the Rolland C. Thayer III Firefighters Memorial Endowed Scholarship. Thayer was Captain of the Pontiac Fire Department for more than 25 years and this scholarship honors his service by supporting a student in the Basic Fire Academy.
The second new scholarship is the Richard and Patricia Tillman Endowed Scholarship Fund that will benefit the top marksman in each class at the Academy. The Tillmans both worked at the Police Academy; Mr. Tillman served for nearly three decades.
For more information on training opportunities, please visit www.oaklandcc.edu/crest/