BY BARRY WARNER
Thirty-three members of the Rockland County Police Academy, Class 2013 Basic School, graduated Friday morning, June 14, in a ceremony before officials, families and friends. The graduates had just completed 20 weeks of mandated class work and will undergo hours of field training alongside veteran officers. Seven of the graduates were part of the Rockland County College’s Pre-Employment program, which provides some of the required training before an individual is hired by a police department.
The ceremony featured speakers including Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe; Orangetown Police Chief Kevin Nulty, Chairman of the Police Academy Training Committee; Gordon Wren, Jr., Director of Fire and Emergency Services and Sheriff Louis Falco III.
The five-month training curriculum was vigorous and demanding involving many of the following disciplines:
. Academics including arrest and booking procedures, preliminary investigation techniques, radio and communications, report writing, traffic investigations and enforcement.
. Driving including the Emergency Vehicle Operations Course, which covers defensive driving, pursuit policy and safe vehicle handling.
. Firearms Training including weapon care and safety, marksmanship and chemical agents handling.
. Human Relations including cultural sensitivity training, stress management, community relations, missing persons and domestic violence.
. Laws covering search and seizure, evidence, arrest plus crimes against persons and property.
. Physical Training by building strength and endurance through physical conditioning, physical arrest techniques and weaponless defense.
. Tactics that covered crimes in progress, building searches, vehicle stops, use of deadly force plus patrol techniques and procedures.
Basic School Coordinator Christopher Sherwood presented the following awards: Academic Achievement-William J. Cunnane, Clarkstown Police; Excellence in Firearms-Matthew E. Usefof, Clarkstown Police; Excellence in Defensive Tactics- Jaime Mercier-Blanchard; Excellence in Physical Fitness- Jeffrey Molina, Haverstraw Police; The Val Swartwout Memorial Award for Excellence in Emergency Medical Care- Mariangela Perrotta, N Y County District Attorney’s Office; School Director’s Award- Matthew E. Usefof, Clarkstown Police; Police Officer Jason D. Conklin Memorial Award- Joseph Pacione, R.C.C. Pre-Employment Course; Physical Fitness Instructors Award-Michael L. Taylor, Orangetown Police.
Graduate Michael Suttlehan from the R.C.C. Pre-Employment Course said, “I want to serve the community and help in any way that I can to protect the lives and property of individuals. In the vehicle operations course, I learned techniques of the safe pursuit policy and defensive driving.”
Graduate Amanda Smith from the R.C.C. Pre-Employment Course said, “I am well trained in law, tactics and carrying a weapon. I have learned problem-solving and techniques to keep calm in emergency situations.”
Graduate Matthew E. Usefof, Clarkstown Police Officer said, “I want to serve the County by maintaining the safety and well-being of the citizens. The role-playing sessions at the Academy provided practical preparation for emergencies.”
Parent Marianne Verrengia of graduate John Rader of the Florida Police Department said, “My son accomplished his dream of becoming a Police Officer. When he was very young, he wore the hat of his father, who was a Police Lieutenant.”
Parents Brian and Tricia Grieve of graduate Matthew Grieve said, “This is the first step in Matthew’s career in law enforcement. He will be working in the office of the N.Y. County District Attorney and we are very proud of him.”
Director of the Police Academy Hugh Lennon said, “After twenty weeks of training, the recruits met all of the state mandates. Following will be four weeks of field training with senior officers and additional training, as their careers move forward.”
Uniformed Police Officers are given the responsibilities to protect the rights of the citizens and enforce the laws of the state. They are entrusted to ensure fair and impartial treatment of individuals, with an awareness of cultural diversity. They reflect a respect for fundamental human rights, integrity and obey Police Department codes of conduct.