Academy Director Lynch heads to WPD while Guin makes new home at WCJC
It’s a case of trading spaces for longtime friends Terry Lynch and Tim Guin.
Serving as Wharton County Junior College’s Instructor of Law Enforcement since 2006, Lynch will leave the college on May 15 to take a new post as Chief of the Wharton Police Department.
That just happens to be the same job Guin held for more than 20 years. Guin retired from that position earlier this year to take over as WCJC’s Director of Security and Public Safety.
Interestingly, Lynch and Guin worked together at Wharton PD for roughly 17 years. Before coming to the college, Lynch was one of the department’s most respected detectives.
It’s an interesting twist of fate, one that illustrates not only the close bond between two lifelong peace officers but between two agencies focused on the same goal: producing the most qualified officers as possible to protect the lives and property of Wharton’s residents.
The college and the police department “have worked symbiotically for years in regards to training and I want to maintain that,” Lynch said.
In his years at the college, Lynch has personally trained 25 academy classes, with some 600 students reaching graduation. WCJC offers both day and night academies to better accommodate students’ busy schedules, with the day academy taught five days a week at the main campus in Wharton and lasting about five months. The night academy is held for four hours per night and lasts two semesters, with classes held at WCJC’s Richmond campus.
Students entering the program must be 21 by the time they graduate. They must also pass a criminal background check, a drug screening, medical and psychological exams and a physical agility test, which includes running, pushups and sit-ups. Those who graduate from the academy have the option of obtaining an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science in Law Enforcement. But the academy is also a stand-alone program, one designed to get students certified through the Texas Commission On Law Enforcement (TCOLE). Those who obtain their certification can become police officers anywhere in the state.
“We have very high academic standards and we’ve been extremely successful,” Lynch said. “We currently have a 100 percent passing rate on the first time attempt at the state exam.”
The academy also maintains a 90 percent hiring rate for its graduates, with most finding employment with area departments in Fort Bend, Wharton, Matagorda and Colorado counties. That’s not by accident. Lynch stresses excellence, integrity and honor – qualities that he exemplified during his own law enforcement career. Not only was Lynch Wharton PD’s first ever K9 officer, he was one of the youngest detectives promoted in the agency’s history. During his time at the department, he was also responsible for the training and operation of the Emergency Response Team as well as serving as firearms instructor.
“Everything we do is based on integrity,” Lynch said, referring to the WCJC Police Academy. “We plant the seeds of this lifestyle and belief system in the academy.”
Area law enforcement officials appreciate that kind of attention to detail. El Campo Police Department Chief Terry Stanphill said that several of his current officers are academy graduates – and all completed the required field training program with flying colors.
“Terry (Lynch) has very high standards and it shows in the recruits he turns out,” Stanphill said. “It would be very difficult if not impossible for a bad recruit to make it past him. He definitely makes a connection with each and every recruit. He knows the whole person, not just the student. The WCJC Academy under Terry Lynch’s leadership has been a great benefit to El Campo PD.”
Lynch plans to continue to interface with the college when he takes over the helm of the Wharton PD. Although he has already been named the new chief, he won’t officially begin his duties until May 16.
“I want to maintain my interaction with WCJC in some facet,” he said.
Guin will undoubtedly make that goal easier to reach. Although Guin will not be directly involved in the WCJC Police Academy, as Director of Security and Public Safety he will interface with the various law enforcement agencies that make up the college’s service area. That includes the police departments in Richmond, Rosenberg, Sugar Land and Bay City, as well as the sheriff’s departments in the surrounding counties.
At the main campus in Wharton, Guin will primarily coordinate with the Wharton PD. The college, in fact, regularly employs off-duty police officers to assist with its security patrol. The main campus currently has three full-time officers.
“Our No. 1 priority is the safety of the college community – the students, faculty and staff,” Guin said.
Guin has served as Director of Security and Public Safety since Feb. 1. That was after a long and illustrious law enforcement career that spanned more than 30 years – 21 of which were as Chief of the Wharton PD. Noting that his time at the police department was “wonderful,” Guin said he couldn’t be happier to have found a new home at the college.
“I’m very excited to start a new phase of my career and WCJC is an exceptional place to work,” he said. “Everyone is very positive and very helpful.”
One of Guin’s top goals will be in developing an emergency management plan for the college system. That will undoubtedly include continued coordination with the Wharton PD.
“In the past we’ve done tabletop exercises between the college and the department,” Guin said.
Lynch is counting on being part of any such planning once he takes over as chief. He believes the future of the police department is directly tied to the success of the college.
“I have truly loved my experience with WCJC and the academy,” he said. “I have been very fulfilled by my involvement with the college but am at the same time looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead. I want to continue the partnership we’ve had between WCJC and the Wharton PD and I plan to enhance it even more.”
For more information on the WCJC Police Academy, visit the college’s website at www.wcjc.edu
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