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Feb 05, 2024

By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor

Adam Groat left quite an impression on his police academy trainers and classmates, which earned him the Richard R. Weiler Scholarship Award and several others at graduation Nov. 10, 2022.

“The class voted him Captain the last four weeks of the academy. I had him serve as Captain in weeks 4 to 8,” WCRPTA Academy Director Anthony Mencotti said. “He was an outstanding leader. He’s the type of person who brings his very best effort. He does an awesome job mentoring the other recruits. He’s a great team player, very respectful. The guy is totally self-motivated and worked extremely hard every day, academically, mentally, physically.”

WCRPTA graduate and newly hired Wyandotte Police Officer Adam Groat (right) celebrates academy graduation with his father, Wyandotte Det. Sgt. Ken Groat (center), and his brother, Wyandotte Police Officer Tyler Groat. 

The 23-year-old Wayne County Regional Police Training Academy (WCRPTA) Cadet graduated at the top of his class and took home the $500 Richard R. Weiler Scholarship Award, which is given to an academy selected non-sponsored recruit. He was among the 14 pre-service cadets in a graduating class of 40.

“He’s our number one academically in the class with a 96.4 percent average,” Mencotti said. “He’s the number one physical person in the class, so he got the Ironman Award and because of that he will get the Nehasil Award ($250). Also, he’s going to get the Chief’s Outstanding Award ($500) - that is from the coordinators and myself. He’s getting a ton of awards.”

The Chief’s Outstanding Award compares the top eight pre-service cadets, rating them in leadership, demeanor and their history before coming to the academy. Groat also received the $270 Kehrl Scholarship for Excellence and Academics; $2,500 Michael Krol Scholarship; and the $2,500 Patrick O’Rourke Scholarship.

“He’s number two in defensive tactics, and number three in emergency vehicles operations driving,” Mencotti said. “He’s going to walk away with a lot, but he deserves everything. He does a fantastic job.”

Three of the scholarships are in memory of WCRPTA graduates: Livonia Officer Larry Nehasil (EOW Jan. 17, 2011); West Bloomfield Sgt. Patrick O’Rourke (EOW Sept. 9, 2012); and Officer Michael Krol, one of five Dallas, Texas Officers assassinated during protests in July 2016.

“(Krol) was a recruit that came through Wayne County Regional Police Academy,” Mencotti said. “His family established the scholarship last semester.”

“The Weiler Award, as well as any award, is more than pleasing when you get them,” Groat said. “To me, nothing means more than getting awarded and acknowledged monetarily. It helps recoup some of the monetary amount spent on the academy. I’m appreciative for not only that one, but for all of them.”

Attending the academy from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. weekdays left no time for a job. “If it was weekends, I was studying for the academy. On weekdays, I was shining my shoes, making my lunch and getting enough sleep,” Groat said. “I didn’t have any income for the entirety of the academy. The awards were especially helpful for jump starting a career and getting everything you need for equipment.”

Groat received his Criminal Justice bachelor’s degree from University of Michigan Dearborn. He was hired by Wyandotte Police Department immediately after graduation, joining his father, Wyandotte Det. Sgt. Ken Groat and brother, Wyandotte Officer Tyler Groat.

“I’m thankful for the instructors and the staff as well because none of it would have been possible without all of them giving us the training and tools to be out there,” Groat said.

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