Thirty-one people from around Monmouth County today have an understanding of law enforcement that most of us rarely achieve - and they gave up six weeks of their own time to get it.

Members of the 17th Monmouth Citizen's Police Academy (Cynthia Scott)

They're the 17th graduating group of the Monmouth County Sheriff's Citizen's Police Academy. Commencement exercises in Freehold marked the end of deep discussions, tours of facilties and informative lectures about the nuts and bolts of public safety.

Enrollees learned the functions of the county Law Enforcement Division under Sheriff Shaun Golden; the 911 Communications Center; Office of Emergency Management; and the Monmouth County Correctional Institution.

They also took in presentations about Superstorm Sandy, forensic science and homeland security, and earned certification in basic first aid.

Citizen's Police Academy grads also become eligible to volunteer in the Volunteers In Sheriff's Community Programs (VISCOMP).

"The time dedicated by our VISCOMP volunteers has exceeded 2,900 hours," said Golden in a prepared release. "Those volunteer efforts have enabled us to maintain many community safety programs in Monmouth County."

The graduates are:

  • Allentown- Michelle Francine Hance
  • Asbury Park - Gertrude Syphax
  • Atlantic Highlands - Wilber C. Bishof
  • Colts Neck - Anita Dedalis, Emory A. Dedalis
  • Hazlet - Richelle L. Garvey
  • Holmdel - Brendan Michael Porfido
  • Howell - Brandon S. Allentoff, Mark Waldhelm, Edward Walter Werthwein
  • Long Branch - Christian Cafe Almazan
  • Manalapan - Leon Galler, Brian P. Murray, Matthew W. Niebling, Sarah Jessica Schoengood, Lynn DeRocco
  • Manasquan - Barbara M. Pfeifer, Herman F. Pfeifer
  • Marlboro - Harold Wiener
  • Matawan - Sherry Marie Irish, Gregory Wood Irish
  • Morganville - Raj Dixit, Peggy A. Renkel, Nicole Renkel
  • Neptune - Patricia Noriega, Ralph Noriega
  • Ocean Township - Rachel E. LeMeune
  • Oceanport - Debra Ryan Clayton
  • Red Bank - Andrew Dean Siciliano
  • Shrewsbury - Donna Fary
  • West Long Branch - Victor Huhn, Sr.