One of the best lessons you can teach law enforcement cadets is that things don't always go according to plan. You must learn to be adaptable.

At the Angelina College Law Enforcement Academy Graduation on Thursday night, that lesson was put into action.

Severe storms pounded East Texas on Thursday evening. Winds in excess of 50 mph were widespread. Downed trees and snapped limbs falling on power lines caused outages throughout the area. Angelina College was not spared.

Photo courtesy of Lufkin PD
Photo courtesy of Lufkin PD

Angelina College Law Enforcement Academy’s Class 115 – along with friends and families – gathered in Hudgins Hall for their graduation, only to have the power fail during the ceremony.

Does anyone have a flashlight? That would be the obvious question to ask. But, quite a few current law enforcement officers who were already on on-hand for the ceremony simply broke out their service flashlights and lit up the auditorium well enough to shine deserved attention on the future LEOs.

AC News Service/Gary Stallard
AC News Service/Gary Stallard

AC Chief of Police Doug Conn praised the nine members who remained following the grueling, 10 1/2-week program, reminding them just how far they’ve come.

“You’ve already come so far in your mission,” Conn said, “and I have no doubt you’ll continue to serve your communities well.”

Academy Training Manager Lt. Jack Stephenson addressed the cadets and crowd, reminding the new LEOs to remember their burden is a shared one.

“Take a look at the people behind you,” Stephenson said. “Look at your families, and remember that in everything you do, they’ll be right there with you.”

Cadet John Donihoo earned valedictorian honors, edging out a highly competitive group by .07 points. Justyn Matthews earned the Top Gun honor; Gregory Mottu was Best Driver; and Nicholas Tenney earned a “cookie” for perfect attendance.

The new graduates, along with their listed home towns, are as follows:

  • Dillon M. Crymes (Whitehouse, TX)
  • John A. Donihoo (McKinney, TX)
  • John H. Hasbun (Porterville, CA)
  • Montana B. Long (Denton County, TX)
  • Justyn T. Matthews (Lufkin, TX)
  • Gregory J. Mottu (Missouri City, TX)
  • Jose A. Ocon (Nacogdoches, TX)
  • Nicholas W. Tenney (Houston, TX)
  • Joseph T. Windsor, Jr. (Mesa, AZ).

Academy staff members include Doug Conn, Chief of Police; Lt. Jack Stephenson, Training Manager; Officer Ashley Jowell, Training Manager; and Kim Capps, Administrative Assistant.

For information on the AC Police Academy, email


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