BY ROBERT KNIGHT
ROCKLAND COUNTY TIMES
Ceremonial recognition for promoted Police Department officers, the hiring of new officers and the graduation of a new class of 33 high school students into the town’s Youth Court highlighted Tuesday night’s meeting of the Orangetown Town Board.
More than 100 residents turned out for the joint police-related ceremonies, held in the large justice court auditorium at Town Hall in Orangeburg. Following the hirings, promotions and graduations, the honorees and their families and guests were treated to refreshments in the Town Hall lobby, accompanied by scores of photo opportunities by elated and proud relatives.
Hired as probationary police officers, pending their successful completion of police academy training, were Keith Trojan and Thomas Roeder. Both were slated to begin their academy training at the Rockland County fire and police training center in Pomona the following day.
Dressed in the traditional khaki recruit uniforms, the two men will be sworn in as full-fledged police officers upon their completion of academy classes and training according to Police Chief Kevin Nulty.
At that time they will swap their recruit uniforms for the official dark blue ones worn by certified police officers, and will be issued their official badges and weapons.
Dozens of dark blue-clad officers already on the 94-member department’s roster were present at the 7 p.m. ceremony recognizing not only the new cadets but five fellow officers who earned promotions at the same meeting, and the 33 new youth court members, who are overseen by a team of volunteer police officers and civilians.
Promotions were given to Patrolmen James Acheson and Kirk Vega to the rank of sergeant, Sergeants James Sullivan and Michael Shannon to the rank of detective-sergeant and to Sgt. Michael Davin to the rank of lieutenant.
New members of the town’s Youth Court include John Brennan, Danny Campbell, Robert Cieszkowski, Bridget Clancy, Stephan Colodner, Kelly Ann Egan, Jack Fanshawe, Kristin Ferriello, Emma Hayes, Liam Healy, Kate Horohoe, Sabrina Lederer, Cara Mahon, Ian McCormack, Aisling McGinley, Austin McNeill, Jennifer Nugent, Sinead O’Sullivan, Kari Portington, Michael Postupak, Dylan Rooney, Joseph Rooney, Jenna Scanlon, Kelli Scanlon, John Schwantner, Robert Schwantner, Lindsay Stephen, Sean Stouffer, Emma Sullivan, Jean-Marie Toher, Kiera Townsend, Tim Urban and Ryan Urban.
The Youth Court hears misdemeanor charges brought against juveniles for a wide variety of infractions in Orangetown, issues verdicts of guilty or not guilty in each instance, and issues sentences for those it finds guilty. Those sentences typically include or consist of small fines and performing community service work.
The induction ceremony Tuesday was primarily led by the student members themselves, coming from Pearl River, Tappan Zee, Nyack and Albertus Magnus High Schools. Court member Emma Sullivan led with the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by a welcome by Police Chief Nulty and similar welcoming remarks from all five members of the Town Board, led by Supervisor Andrew Stewart.
Students Aisling McGinley and Kiera Townsend gave the class address, while Youth Court Executive Director Detective Peter Maher presented each of the 33 graduates with their certificates of completion and appointment.
Closing remarks were given by attorney Marianna J. Walter, the chair of the volunteer adult steering committee and attorney Joseph McCormack, the Youth Court chief instructor.
Also participating in the ceremony were the court’s principal clerk, Mary K. Anselmi and Steering Committee members Gabriella Capello, Brittany DiPaolo, Jillian Egan, Kyla Coffey, Dylan Markowitz, Cassidy McNeill, Eric Soeder and Catherine Walker.
Nulty noted that the Youth Court, one of the oldest such programs in Rockland County and New York State, has a long and proud tradition in Orangetown and is strongly endorsed and supported by the Police Department, the town justice courts and related groups.
The Youth Court’s motto is “Stand up for what is right, even if you are standing alone,” Nulty noted, adding that the students always take that motto to heart and follow it fearlessly during their one-year term in office.