The Dover Police Department is announcing the graduation of the Dover Municipal Police Academy. On Thursday, August 19th, 2021, the department hosted a graduation ceremony at the Dover High School auditorium to celebrate the end of the 19-week training academy. Twelve recruits from eight Delaware police agencies successfully completed the training and graduated.
Speakers at the ceremony included Chief of Staff of the Delaware Attorney General’s Office, Robert Coupe, who represented Attorney General Kathy Jennings, City of Dover Councilman and Dover Police Retiree, Ralph Taylor, City of Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen, and City of Dover Police Chief Thomas Johnson.
Several awards were also presented for outstanding performances by academy recruits:
Academic Achievement Award
The Academic Achievement Award is awarded to the recruit who continued to demonstrate a high level of academic proficiency throughout academy training. Based on a series of tests to prove their understanding of course content, the recruits all received a final academic GPA. While all of the recruits demonstrated tremendous work in the academic area, this recruit earned the highest average in the class with a 97.6 GPA.
The award was presented to Ocean View Police recruit, Catherine Hazell.
Top Shot Award
The Top Shot Award is awarded to the recruit who demonstrated the highest level of marksmanship proficiency and firearms safety throughout a series of day and night firearms training and qualification courses.
The Top Shot award was presented to Andrew Devine of the Dover Police Department.
Physical Fitness Award
The Dover Police Academy Physical Fitness Award is awarded to the male and female police recruits who demonstrated a high level of physical fitness, strength, and endurance throughout the academy. These recruits also continued to push themselves to a higher level throughout the 19 weeks of physical training.
The Physical Fitness Awards were presented to Dover Police recruit, Andrew Devine and Smyrna Police recruit, Brooke Tucker.
Francis T. Schneible Resiliency Award
The Francis T. Schneible Resiliency Award is given to the police recruit who showed the most resiliency during the academy. Francis Schneible began his law enforcement career with the Dover Police Department in 1968. Just one year into his tour, Schneible was shot by a shoplifting suspect who was armed with a shotgun. Schneible’s resiliency allowed him to continue to serve for four more years with Dover, later joining the Delaware State Police. Schneible unfortunately lost his life 24 years after the shooting due to difficulties stemming from his injuries he sustained.
The recipient of the Francis T. Schneible Award was Wilfredo Crespo, from the City of Wilmington Fire Marshal’s Office. Members of the Schneible family were in attendance and also recognized during the presentation of this award.
Corporal Thomas Hannon Top Recruit Award
The Corporal Thomas Hannon Top Recruit Award is given to the police recruit who displayed an outstanding effort and demonstrated quality leadership throughout the 19-week academy. This recruit always gave their best effort and went above and beyond to help their classmates throughout the challenges of the academy. Corporal Thomas Hannon began his law enforcement career with the New York City Police Department before joining the Dover Police Department in 2005. Corporal Thomas Hannon was also named the Top Municipal Recruit of his Delaware State Police 76th/64th Academy Class, which made it even more appropriate to name this award in his honor.
In 2012, Corporal Hannon suffered a leg injury during the arrest of a suspect and continued to suffer from complications as a result. On September 1st, 2017, Corporal Hannon lost his life as a result of medical complications stemming from the injury and subsequent surgeries.
The recipient of the Corporal Thomas Hannon Top Recruit Award was Gunnar Goad of the Dover Police Department. Members of the Hannon family were in attendance and also recognized during the presentation of this award.
In his closing remarks, Academy Staff Instructor M/Cpl. Christopher Bumgarner reminded the recruits of the challenges that lie ahead and reminded them of the Core Values of the Dover Municipal Police Academy: “Life has thrown all of us many challenges and the world we live in is far from perfect. But I have faith, because of you and your commitment to this profession, despite those challenges. I believe you will make your community and our world a better and safer place as you continue to be the examples of COURAGE, PROFESSIONALISM, and INTEGRITY.
Graduation Video Link: 2021 Dover Municipal Police Academy Graduation Video (Youtube)
Graduating Recruits from the 2021 City of Dover Municipal Police Academy:
City of Dover Police Department
Smyrna Police Department
Seaford Police Department
Ocean View Police Department
Wilmington Fire Marshal’s Office