Halfway through the Galveston College Law Enforcement Academy, cadet Ethan Moffitt’s grandfather lost his battle with cancer and passed away. Despite being hit hard and hurt by his loss, Moffitt honored his grandfather, a 29-year Galveston County Sheriff’s Office veteran, by completing the academy as the Class 9(D) valedictorian.

“It hit me hard, but at the same time I thought, ‘this is what I need to do, this is where I’m going to be and how I’m going to do it,’” said Moffitt. “I don’t think it (valedictorian) qualifies me to be an officer more than anyone else, it doesn’t make me better than my classmates, but I think it means that my hard work has paid off. To be a valedictorian has helped me tell myself that I am ready for the next step in my career.”

Moffitt, a Friendswood native, took the next step alongside six other cadets, who he considers family, during the Galveston College Law Enforcement Academy Cadet Class 9(D) graduation ceremony on Dec. 8 at the college’s Seibel Wing.

“There were seven of us for six months, all with different personalities, so it definitely helps to form a strong bond between you all,” said the 21-year-old valedictorian.  “Nothing makes someone closer than physical fitness. Having those people back you up help strengthen that bond between you. I’m thankful for my friends that I would like to call my family now.”

Ultimately, Moffitt aspires to return to serve and protect in his hometown, but is ready to do so no matter where his career takes him because of the skills, discipline and training he received at the Galveston College Law Enforcement Academy.

“I really like the mentality here at GC. Every time we did something, everyone did it until they mastered it,” said Moffitt. “There was no, okay, you did it 50% right so we’re just going to give it to you. It’s, we’re going make sure you know what this is and you’re going to do it until you’re ready to do it in real life, out on the streets. That was one thing that blew me out of the water because at other places they might say, ‘good enough.’ But here, it was different. It goes on to hands-on learning, and the mentality that you’re not going to be left behind here. Everyone is going to be at the same level and do everything until we’ve all mastered it together, and I really liked that part about training here.”

“Instructor (Bart) Stephenson has helped form everything (training) into something that is easily understood by every cadet,” he added. “I really appreciate that and I think it has been a benefit to me.”

Galveston College Law Enforcement Academy Program Director, Bart Stephenson, said he was proud of Moffitt and the other cadets for completing the academy and achieving this milestone.

Galveston College – Law Enforcement Academy Graduation Galveston College – Law Enforcement Academy Graduation with award

“Cadet Moffitt always gave it his all in the academy and displayed good leadership skills,” said Stephenson. “All our cadets worked really hard inside and outside of the classroom to reach this milestone and they should be proud of what they have accomplished. They came together as a team and as a family. They learned together and helped each other get through this challenging course. I’m proud of them and they are prepared to protect and serve our communities.”

During the graduation ceremony, the cadets were given a few words of inspiration by keynote speaker, Seabrook Police Chief Sean Wright. In addition to the presentation of Moffitt as class valedictorian, fellow cadet Ernesto Ramos was presented the Top Gun Award during the graduation ceremony. Accompanying Ramos and Moffitt at graduation were cadets Alex Garcia, Jovani Herrera, Erik Mungia, Shamael Ruiz and Michael Yocom.

For more information about the Galveston College Law Enforcement Academy, visit https://gc.edu/academic-career-programs/public-services-business-industry/criminal-justice-law-enforcement.php, email vwilmeth@gc.edu or call 409-944-1412.



Galveston College was founded in 1967 and is a comprehensive community college providing the residents of Galveston Island and the surrounding region with academic, workforce development, continuing education and community service programs.