Congratulations are in order for another group of cadets who have completed the rigorous demands of Angelina College’s Law Enforcement Academy. Class 116 graduated last week, plus all 15 cadets notched a 100 percent pass rate on the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement exam, something AC Chief of Police Doug Conn attributed to the overall determination of the students and the pushes from the instructors.

“This academy isn’t easy, but neither is this profession,” Conn told the cadets. “We don’t expect anyone to be perfect, but we do want you to be the best you can possibly be. This class did a great job with that.”

AC News Service/Gary Stallard
AC News Service/Gary Stallard

The cadets also received a powerful message from keynote speaker James Barge, a long-time game warden. Barge emphasized the “butterfly effect” in the world of law enforcement, alluding to historical events to remind cadets how being in the right or wrong place often is simply a matter of chance.

“Everything we do on a daily basis has an impact on everyone around us,” Barge said. “You’re constantly going to have an opportunity to make a difference, even though right now you may not see how that could happen.

“I believe there’s a Divine Engineer who puts everything together, and He puts people where they need to be. Sometimes you’re going to be late, sometimes you’re going to be early and sometimes you’re going to be right on time to make a huge difference.”

Gary Stallard/AC News Service
Gary Stallard/AC News Service

Class valedictorian Juan Mercado reminded his classmates of every test they’d endured together – and not just the ones involving multiple-choice answers.

“Today marks a culmination of months of rigorous training and intense, unwavering commitment,” Mercado said. “We’ve been tested physically, mentally and very much emotionally."

While Mercado earned the top academic spot, others receiving awards were Robert Hansard, Jr. (Top Gun); William Treadway (Best Driver); Jonathan Jenkins (Physical Fitness); and Nathan Gallaway (Director’s Award).

AC News Service/Gary Stallard
AC News Service/Gary Stallard

The graduates of Class 116, along with their home towns of record, are as follows:

  • Kenneth D. Bradberry, Lufkin
  • Logan R. Brown, Cleveland
  • Cameron A. Coker, Woodville
  • Dylan D. Dickerson, Livingston
  • Nathan A. Gallaway, Groveton
  • Kay H. Garton, Jasper
  • Robert G. Hansard, Ore City
  • Jonathan W. Jenkins, South Boston, VA
  • Julius L. LaMonica IV, Augusta, GA
  • Patrick D. Lewis, Kingwood
  • Juan J. Mercado, Nacogdoches
  • Ruben Nava, Dallas
  • Kyle A. Rayburn, Lufkin
  • Hunter L. Shatney, Muskegon, MI
  • William C. Treadway, Jasper

Angelina College was issued a license to operate a police academy in 12 East Texas
counties in September 1993 by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE). The Academy offers basic and in-service training courses at sites throughout Deep East Texas with the assistance of an advisory board, which assists in directing the academy.

Academy staff members include Doug Conn, Chief of Police; Lt. Jack Stephenson, Training Manager; Officer Ashley Jowell, Training Manager; and Kim Capps, Administrative Assistant.

Instructors for Class 116 included Lt. Jack Stephenson (Angelina College Police Department), Chief Doug Conn (ACPD), Sgt. Ashley Jowell (ACPD), Lt. Randy Holland (ACPD), Lee Jowell (Lufkin PD), Dalton Estes (Lufkin PD), Rene Gutierrez (Lufkin PD/ACPD), Brad Davis (Lufkin PD), Reagan Mathews (Lufkin PD), Jason Pope (Angelina College Fire Academy), Adam Coats (Central ISD Police Department), Sgt. Corey Bean (Texas Department of Public Safety), Amy Wren (Nacogdoches County District Attorney’s Office), Quintin McClure (Angelina County Sheriff’s Office), Tim Mathews (Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission), Alton Lenderman (Angelina County Sheriff’s Office), Scott Moore (Trinity County Sheriff’s Office), Tom Selman (Sheriff, Angelina County), Pam Hollis (CPR Instructor, Angelina College), Kim Riddle (Harold’s House), Danny Weise (PT Instructor) and Todd Zeneger (PT Instructor).

For information on the AC Police Academy, email

Most Successful Bank Robbers in Texas History

Here is a look at criminals who were able to commit bank robberies successfully years ago, we do not recommend breaking the law.

Gallery Credit: Billy Jenkins


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