Challenge accepted, mission accomplished

Courtesy photo
STUDENTS IN JEFF Hanley’s criminal justice class offered through Grundy Area Vocational Center were recently given an assignment to hand out challenge coins to members of various law enforcement agencies. The coins were presented to 18 officers from 13 departments and agencies. Students handing out the coins were (from left, row one): Kris Lamaster, Colby Lowery, Erica Esparza, Alex Longoria, Alayna Valone, Aiden Bolak, Drake Eaton, Josh Mikel, Justin Olsen, Haley Buchanan and Luke Boudreau. Row two: Callie Ritze, Braeden Hirsch, Sam Dennis and Dylan Lohnstein. Standing in row three: Noah Windsor, Vander Dransfeldt and Jacob Echevarria.


Jeff Hanley challenged the students in his criminal justice class to connect with law enforcement officers and show their support for the work they do to serve and protect their communities.
The students accepted the challenge and the mission has now been accomplished as all 18 students connected with and presented a challenge coin to representatives from 13 agencies.
As part of the assignment students were tasked to seek out and locate a police officer and then show their support to the men and women in blue by presenting them with a specially designed GAVC challenge coin.
Challenge coins are medallions that are presented to prove membership, recognized achievement, denote years of service or to signify a special event.
In the case of the criminal justice students, the presentation of their coins was to show their support for law enforcement.
“I applaud my second year criminal justice students and their efforts have been remarkable,” Hanley said.
All 18 students presented a challenge coin to various law enforcement officers and deputy sheriffs from 13 different agencies—Coal City, Braidwood, Wilmington, Essex, Bolingbrook, Shorewood, Momence, Morris and Joliet Junior College police departments, as well as the Grundy and Will County Sheriff’s Offices, Illinois Department of Corrections and Department of Homeland Security.
Among the local officers receiving a coin were Coal City Police Sgt. Tom Logan, Wilmington Police Sgt. Dan Brimer and Officer Karl Jurgens, Braidwood Police Officer Phil Tyree and Essex Police Chief Tim McGrath.
Other recipients were Sgt. Greg Butterfield and deputies Matthew Wojciechowski, Alex Butts and Ken Unland of the Grundy County Sheriff’s Office and Will County Sheriff’s deputy Timothy Rockett.
The students in Hanley’s class represent four high schools—Reed-Custer, Wilmington, Gardner-South Wilmington and host school Coal City.
Coal City students are Erica Esparza, Aiden Bolak, Drake Eaton, Josh Mikel, Justin Olesen, Dylan Lohnstein and Jacob Echevarria.
Students attending from Reed-Custer are Alex Longoria, Alayna Valone, Haley Buchanan, Callie Ritze, Sam Dennis, Noah Windsor and Vander Dransfeldt.
Wilmington students are Luke Boudreau, Kris Lamaster and Colby Lowery, and Braeden Hirsch attends from GSW.