BRADENTON -- The Manatee Technical Institute Law Enforcement Academy graduated 15 basic recruits Thursday.
The graduates: class leader Steven Kiser, assistant class leader Esterlin Perozo, Willie Braswell, Jorge Carvalho, Marina Edwards, Christopher Houghton, Patrick Howard, Edward Hyde, Lee Long, Kevin Manali, Thomas O'Brien, Casey Odell, Matthew Plough, Dalia Santana-Arellano and Richard Snyder.
Odell earned the highest academic achievement award.
Houghton earned the Top Gun award and Carvalho the best driver award.
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Kiser presented Academy Director Jay Romine with the class plaque.
Palmetto Police Chief Charles "Rick" Wells addressed the class. MTI Director Mary Cantrell gave the opening remarks.
Also in attendance: Manatee County Sheriff Brad Steube, Bradenton Police Chief Michael Radzilowski and Holmes Beach Police Chief William Tokajer, who gave the invocation.
Romine acknowledged his secretary, Sharon Niel, for her service and commitment to students. Niel will retire in June after almost 10 years of service at MTI.
Graduates are eligible to take the state certification exam for law enforcement to become a law enforcement officer in Florida.