Newest Academy graduates’ motto: “Danger we’ll face, lives we’ll save”

By Lou Ponsi

Every graduating class at the Orange County Sheriff’s Regional Training Academy has been taught the same crime fighting techniques, completed the same classes, performed the same drills and fired the same weapons.

That said, each graduating class has its own unique attributes.

Recruits line up before the start of the Basic Academy Class 232 Graduation Ceremony at the Orange County Regional Training Center.
Photo by Stephen Carr/Behind the Badge

Among the 51 graduates of Basic Academy Class 232 were former U.S. Marines, EMTs, athletic trainers, a professional athlete, and even a one-time music producer.

Each class also comes up with its own motto.

The motto for Class 232 is “Danger we’ll face, lives we’ll save.”

Recruits during the Basic Academy Class 232 Graduation Ceremony at the Orange County Regional Training Center.
Photo by Stephen Carr/Behind the Badge

The graduation ceremony for Class 232 was held Oct. 16 at the Sheriff’s Regional Training Academy in front of a crowd of family members and supporters, dignitaries and peace officers totaling more than 1,000.

In delivering her address to her fellow graduates, family members and friends, dignitaries and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department training staff, graduate Bianca Ziemann said Class 232 was trained by the best.

“Each recruit sitting here this afternoon put their differences aside for the greater good of this class,” Ziemann said. “Each recruit has earned their place in Class 232 by displaying commitment, passion, integrity and hard work.”

Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy Joseph Devela sings the National Anthem.
Photo by Stephen Carr/Behind the Badge

During the six-month academy, recruits practiced arrest and control techniques and endured tear gas and pepper spray.

“We were pushed beyond our limits to find comfort in discomfort,” Ziemann said. “We learned how to perform under pressure with an extreme level of stress (and learned) it’s not about me. It’s about we … us. Last thing is to always tell the truth … integrity.”

Santa Monica Police Chief Cynthia Renaud, the keynote speaker for the ceremony, told the family members and friends of the graduates that “they have been fundamentally changed,” and are “stronger and more resilient.”

Training instructors bow their heads during invocation before the Basic Academy Class 232 Graduation Ceremony. Photo by Stephen Carr/Behind the Badge

The recruits have learned to embrace the ideals of sacrifice, commitment and teamwork, Renaud said.

“You meet people in pain, people in danger, people in crisis, people victimizing others, and people being victimized by others,” Renaud said. “These are your times to shape to create, to mold and to change and to lead us into the next, great generation of public service.”

Orange County Sheriff Recruit Daniel Agar applauds during the ceremony.
Photo by Stephen Carr/Behind the Badge

Congresswoman Mimi Walters of the 45th District praised the training academy and spoke of its reputation for producing exceptional peace officers.

“Today’s graduation ceremony is evidence of that,” Walters said. “I have no doubt that the 51 members of Class 232 will hold fast to this proud tradition. The Orange County community supports you and salutes the work you will do to keep us safe.”

Orange County Sheriff Recruits during the Basic Academy Class 232 Graduation Ceremony.
Photo by Stephen Carr/Behind the Badge

The future law enforcement officers from Class 232 can also claim one other distinction.

Class 232 is the final class to be administered their oath of office by Sheriff Sandra Hutchens.

Hutchens is retiring in December after a 40-year career in law enforcement, the past 10 years as the Orange County Sheriff.

“During her tenure as Orange County’s top cop, she has led with honor, integrity and innovation,” Walters said. “I am proud to call her my friend and extend my congratulations to her on a well-earned retirement. To our deputies of the future, I can think of no greater example to follow than that of Sheriff Hutchens.”

45th Congressional District U.S. Representative Mimi Walters speaks during the Basic Academy Class 232 Graduation Ceremony.
Photo by Stephen Carr/Behind the Badge

Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens speaks at the Basic Academy Class 232 Graduation Ceremony.
Photo by Stephen Carr/Behind the Badge

The keynote speaker, Santa Monica Police Chief Cythia Renaud, speaks at the Basic Academy Class 232 Graduation Ceremony.
Photo by Stephen Carr/Behind the Badge

Recruits during the Basic Academy Class 232 Graduation Ceremony.
Photo by Stephen Carr/Behind the Badge

Pasadena Interim Police Chief John Perez presents the Outstanding Practical Applications Award to Pasadena Police Recruit Ryan Mulrooney.
Photo by Stephen Carr/Behind the Badge

Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens presents the Outstanding Firearm Skills Award to Orange County Sheriff Police Recruit Michael Claeson.
Photo by Stephen Carr/Behind the Badge

Anaheim Police Chief Jorge Cisneros presents the Outstanding Written Exam Scores Award to Anaheim Police Recruit Miguel Moyao.
Photo by Stephen Carr/Behind the Badge

Bruce DD MacRae presents an award to Pasadena Police Recruit Ryan Mulrooney.
Photo by Stephen Carr/Behind the Badge

Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens presents a badge to Orange County Sheriff Police Recruit Devonna Falconer.
Photo by Stephen Carr/Behind the Badge

Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens presents a badge to Orange County Sheriff Police Recruit Patricia Flores during the Basic Academy Class 232 Graduation Ceremony.
Photo by Stephen Carr/Behind the Badge

Orange County Sheriff Police Recruit Andrew Matemate poses for a photo with his family after receiving his badge.
Photo by Stephen Carr/Behind the Badge

Recruits are sworn in during the Basic Academy Class 232 graduation.
Photo by Stephen Carr/Behind the Badge

Recruits are sworn in during the graduation ceremony.
Photo by Stephen Carr/Behind the Badge

Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, center, is honored by Orange County Undersheriff Don Barnes during the Basic Academy Class 232 Graduation Ceremony.
Photo by Stephen Carr/Behind the Badge

Recruits bow their heads for a moment during the Basic Academy Class 232 Graduation Ceremony. Photo by Stephen Carr/Behind the Badge

Recruits during the Basic Academy Class 232 Graduation Ceremony.
Photo by Stephen Carr/Behind the Badge

Recruits celebrate at the end of the Basic Academy Class 232 Graduation Ceremony.
Photo by Stephen Carr/Behind the Badge

Recruits celebrate after the Basic Academy Class 232 Graduation Ceremony. Photo by Stephen Carr/Behind the Badge