VC Law Enforcement Academy graduates honored at ceremony

Fourteen Law Enforcement Academy cadets who graduated from Victoria College’s 97th Basic Peace Officer Certification class were honored at a graduation ceremony on Dec. 9 at VC’s Emerging Technology Complex.

Zechariah Vela of Victoria was named class valedictorian. Ryan Ramos of Victoria received the John Baylor Award for Outstanding Achievement. The award is named in honor of the former Victoria Police Department officer and is given to the “most outstanding student” as selected by class instructors.

Other graduates were Walker Baylor, Mia Gallegos, Brianna Garcia, Edibrando Martinez, Scott Saenz, Tristan Smith and James Swisher, all of Victoria; Abraham Alhamzawi, Patrick Osborn and Melvin Slovak, all of Beeville; Juan Hernandez of Hallettsville; and Joseph Gonzales of Refugio.

All 14 of the graduates passed the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) examination to become a certified peace officer in Texas, and the majority have been employed by a law enforcement agency.

“This class persevered through the unique challenges that were placed before them by the COVID-19 crisis,” said James Martinez, VC Law Enforcement Academy director. “I am extremely proud of the cadets for sticking through the course.”

VC offers two academies a year – one during the fall semester and another during the spring semester. Both academies are held Monday through Friday with classes meeting 8 to 10 hours a day.

For more information on VC’s Law Enforcement Academy, call (361) 572-6426 or email

Photo caption: Fourteen graduates of Victoria College’s Law Enforcement Academy Class #97 were honored at a ceremony on Dec. 9 at VC’s Emerging Technology Complex. Pictured are, front row from left, instructors Herb Tucker, former Victoria County Sheriff’s Office captain; Tony Daniel, Victoria County Sheriff’s Office investigator; James Martinez, Victoria College Law Enforcement Academy director; and Ralph Buentello, Victoria Police Department lieutenant. Students pictured are, second row from left, Edibrando Martinez, Mia Gallegos, Brianna Garcia and Walker Baylor; third row, Ryan Ramos, Joseph Gonzales, Scott Saenz and Juan Hernandez; and, back row, James Swisher, Tristan Smith, Zechariah Vela, Abraham Alhamzawi, Melvin Slovak and Patrick Osborn.