Twelve students graduate from VC’s Law Enforcement Academy

Law Enforcement Academy2 Twelve students recently graduated from Victoria College’s Law Enforcement Academy with Basic Peace Officer Certification and were honored at a ceremony held Dec. 14 at VC’s Emerging Technology Complex.

John Ortiz remembers the day he first began thinking about becoming a police officer.

“I was working at a Dairy Queen as a teenager, and we got robbed at gunpoint,” Ortiz said. “I had to watch it happen, and I felt helpless. I began kicking around the idea of getting into law enforcement for a few years. I finally started taking the classes at Victoria College, and I eventually got into the academy. Now I just want to get out there and help people.”

Ortiz was one of 12 graduates of Victoria College’s Law Enforcement Academy to receive their Basic Peace Officer Certificates during a ceremony on Dec. 14 at VC’s Emerging Technology Complex. All 12 graduates have passed the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement examination to become licensed peace officers.

Ortiz, 29, was named class valedictorian and the recipient of the John F. Baylor Award, which honors the former Victoria Police Department officer and is given to the “most outstanding student” as selected by class instructors.

“I got so much more out of this course than I thought I would,” said Ortiz, who has been hired by the Victoria Police Department. “I have been going to school at VC now for several years taking classes for criminal justice. I saved this for last to give it all the attention I could. I am leaving here with so much knowledge, more than I ever thought I would have. This is definitely the best law enforcement academy in the state.”

Jackson County Sheriff A.J. Louderback was the commencement speaker for the event.

Other graduates receiving their Basic Peace Officer Certificates were Conner Hollas, Ryan Israwi, Elizabeth McClain, Dakota Moreno, Zachry Mueller, Briana Naranjo, Juan Obregon, Howard Schwausch, Dakota Smith, Brandon Stehle and Pedro Zendejas.

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) 572-6449 or email

Photo caption: Pictured are, front row from left, instructors Herb Tucker, Rick Alvarado, James Martinez, Chris Garcia and Ralph Buentello; second row, students Howard Schwausch, Juan Obregon, Elizabeth McClain, Briana Naranjo, John Ortiz and Pedro Zendejas; and, back row, Zachary Mueller, Brandon Stehle, Ryan Israwi, Conner Hollas, Dakota Moreno and Dakota Smith.