TRENTON, N.J. (PBN) Trenton, NJ (Mercer County). To increase positive community relations between the Trenton Police Department and city residents, the Civilian Police Academy was formed. On November 27, 2023, the 4th class of Trenton residents had their graduation ceremony at Police Headquarters. The ceremony opened with remarks from Detective Glendy Peña, Director Steve Wilson, Lt. Bethesda Stokes, and Alumni, Councilwoman Feliciano. Each speaker congratulated the graduates on their dedication and commitment to attending and finishing the class successfully. “This class of 12 is the largest class that has graduated so far,” stated Detective Glendy Peña, one of the academy instructors and host of the evening. As each person was called to receive their graduation certificate of recognition, their smiles lit up the room for all in attendance to see. Each had a nickname that ended with the word “Sauce,” an insider joke among the classmates that was quite entertaining; the camaraderie among the graduates was an awesome site to witness. Among those who graduated was East Ward Councilman Joe Harrison, who beamed with pride as he stepped forward took his certificate, and stood among his classmates. Councilwomen Crystal Feliciano and Jenna Figueroa Kettenburg, both graduates of the academy from the prior session, were present and excited to congratulate the graduates along with Councilwomen Teska Frisby, Jasi Edwards, and Yazminelly Gonzalez. Councilwoman Jennifer Williams phoned in her well wishes as she was not able to attend. Also in attendance were instructors Detective Angel Turner, Detective Tamika Veal, Detective Tomika Sommers, and Officer Olix Herredia. “This is an awesome opportunity for civilian and police relations,” stated Feliciano, “Lt. Harbourt and his team are great, we certainly learned a lot when we took the class.” “I’m proud of all of the graduates,” stated Figueroa Kettenburg. “Some of the comments made showed that they learned intricate information about the police force and their role in the community and that there is great concern for our youth.” The ceremony closed out with words from the Lead Instructor, Lt. Harbourt who congratulated the graduates and then challenged them to be advocates to their neighbors and others throughout the community about the police and what they learned. “This was a wonderful and informative experience,” stated Trenton resident Evonne Williams. “I’m glad I was able to participate and definitely intend to encourage others to sign up as well.” For information about the next academy start date, residents should be sure to check the Trenton Police Department’s Facebook page or the City’s website for postings.

Thomas Peterson is the Editor in Chief and founder of Peterson’s Breaking News of Trenton. Thomas founded PBT in 2012.