Texas Governor’s Legislative Director and former Texas Senator Kenneth L. Armbrister presented Alvin Community College President Dr. Rodney Allbright with recognition and greetings from Gov. Rick Perry at the ACC Law Enforcement Academy graduation ceremony on Dec. 11.
“As Alvin Community College Police Academy celebrates 40 years of continuous operation, I join in recognizing and congratulating you on your leadership and support of this fine institution,” Gov. Perry expressed to Allbright. “As president of ACC and the architect of the school’s criminal justice program and police academy, you have been a crucial part of the academy’s establishment as a leader in police basic training.”
Sen. Armbrister also read greetings to graduating classes No. 83 and No. 84 from Gov. Perry during the event.
“The men and women of our law enforcement community dedicate their lives to the public good,” Gov. Perry conveyed. “Placing the safety of others before their own, they are examples of courage and honor. I am proud to congratulate today’s graduates on joining the ranks of these outstanding individuals.”
“I also congratulate everyone involved with the ACC Police Academy upon the academy’s 40th anniversary,” he continued. “This program has been the launch pad for some of Texas’s finest peace officers, and I look forward to its continued success.”
“Gov. Rick Perry’s proclamation recognizing our police academy’s 40 years of continuous operation is a distinct honor for Alvin Community College,” Allbright stated. “The police academy was started 40 years ago through a cooperative effort between Alvin Junior College; Leon Levy, Chief of Police City of Alvin; and Sheriff Robert Gladney, Brazoria County.”
“Alvin Community College was the first junior college in Texas to offer the state required basic certification for peace officers,” he added. “Gov. Perry’s recognition is a tribute to all who worked on that program.”
The ACC Criminal Justice Department and Law Enforcement Academy was created in 1969 and is now under the direction of retired senior captain Texas Ranger Maurice Cook.
Academy training is coordinated by Jeff Gambrell, who graduated from the ACC program in 1983, and Ronny Phillips, who retired from the Galveston Police Department as the training coordinator. Between the three, they have over 85 years of law enforcement experience.
The academy’s training staff also includes Alvin Police Department Chief Mike Merkel, police officers, administrators, judges, lawyers and university professors.
“It’s been a solid, reputable academy for many years,” Gambrell said. “We continue to maintain high standards of integrity and ethics; the student is our primary concern.”
Since its inception, approximately 3,000 students have graduated from the program. Many have gone on to work for various local, state and national law enforcement agencies. Some have even become university professors, attorneys and doctors.