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EASTERN Alumni Spotlight: Matthew Hungerford, Protective Services

EASTERN Alumni Spotlight: Matthew Hungerford, Protective Services   

The Eastern Center for Arts and Technology (EASTERN) is proud of its graduates.  They personify EASTERN’s mission to provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to craft a college and/or career path. We are proud to spotlight Mr. Matthew Hungerford, 2004 Bishop McDevitt High School/EASTERN Protective Services graduate, who is currently a 16-year veteran of the Cheltenham Police Department. He recently graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Public Safety Administration from Neumann University. He is now pursuing his Master of Jurisprudence in Criminal Law, Constitutional law, and Policy at Liberty University School of Law.

When Hungerford was a sophomore at Bishop McDevitt High School, he was given a brochure about the programs at EASTERN.  When he saw Protective Services as one of the program offerings, he knew he wanted to pursue it during his junior and senior years. During his time at EASTERN, he was a volunteer firefighter in Abington Township, worked evenings on an ambulance crew, and was the first intern with the Jenkintown Borough Police Department. After high school, he attended Alvernia University for Criminal Justice for two years, then transferred to Montgomery County Community College’s Municipal Police Academy.

After his graduation from the Police Academy in 2007, he was hired by the Cheltenham Township Police Department where he spent 12 years in the patrol division and the past four years as a detective. During his career, he has worked as a field training officer, firearms instructor, emergency vehicle operator’s instructor, and an active shooter instructor for Montgomery County and for Temple University. 

“I hope to complete my Ph.D. in Law & Public Policy and run for Judge one day in the future,” said Hungerford.   “I credit EASTERN with giving me the tools and setting me on the path to explore the vast world of public safety, and I never looked back. My advice to students thinking about the program is to keep an open mind and willingness to learn it all. I originally came to EASTERN as a volunteer firefighter that was interested in attaining my state firefighters’ certification. I ended up falling in love with the criminal justice side more than the fire side, and it shaped my future for the next twenty years. Explore all fields because knowing as much as you can about public safety and emergency management will always help.” 

Action, adventure, and saving lives! You’ll earn several certifications to give you a head start on careers in the Protective Services program. This two-year half-day class is a multi-disciplined program developed in consultation with a countywide advisory committee of law enforcement, fire science, security professionals and post-secondary institutions. Detailed instruction is provided on leadership, criminal, motor vehicle crash and fire investigation, first responders, security systems, terrorism, firefighting, hazardous materials and emergency communications. To learn more, please visit