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July 8, 2011

CONTACT: Peter Van Delft
(617) 704-6682


The twenty–five members of Correction Officer Training Academy Class 11–01.

Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea J. Cabral administered the Correction Officer’s Oath to twenty–five new officers during a graduation ceremony held recently at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel in South Boston.

Brought online to serve at the Suffolk County House of Correction, the former recruits completed an intensive twelve–week training academy that required instruction in a host of practical and classroom subjects that included: suicide prevention, ethics and professionalism, use of force continuum, firearm safety and handling, inmate education and programming, contraband control, courtroom testimony, CORI and inmate rights and responsibilities, fire safety, CPR, sexual harassment, cross–gender supervision and report writing.

Correction Officer Training Academy (COTA) Class 11–01 is the 17th to graduate under the leadership of Sheriff Cabral, who addressed the members of the class as they sat among family, friends and their new colleagues.

“I want to acknowledge and thank the friends, the family, and the loved ones that supported the graduates,” said Sheriff Cabral. “I can’t emphasize enough to you how much your support means to them and the significant role that your continued support of them will play in their success as correction officers.”

“The business of corrections at the county level has changed significantly over the nine years that I have been Sheriff,” she continued. “We have learned to be more engaged and more focused on how we handle the lives of those living in our charge, because how we do that job has a direct impact on whether they will re–offend, and has a direct impact on the public safety and the quality of life of people who live in the communities we serve.”

During the training process, Deputy Superintendent and Supervisor of Training for the Department Yolanda Smith helped to shape and mold COTA Class 11–01 into a successful unit by stressing teamwork, honesty and dedication. Standing before the new officers during the ceremony, she provided the graduates with a challenge to strive for still greater heights as members of the Department.

“As a team, you have done remarkable work and have impressed the training staff with your progress and growth,” said Deputy Superintendent Smith. “Find your own passion and build on it because as you’ve heard from many people, corrections is not a job – it’s a career that has so many opportunities.”

Taking the stage to speak on behalf of his classmates, COTA Class 11–01 Valedictorian James McGourty appeared to embrace that mission wholeheartedly.

“In life, all we can ask for is an opportunity,” said Officer McGourty. “Sheriff Cabral and her staff, out of a field of over 10,000 applicants, saw something valuable in all 25 members of our class and gave us that opportunity. It is now time for all of us to get to work in ensuring them that the proper decisions were made.”

Members of the COTA Class 11–01 are: James Bacigalupo, Fred Bernabe, Patrick Casey, Neil Connaughton, Dennis Cunniff, Stephen Hazelton, Christopher Jones, Colette Josey, David Kew, Mark Mastrullo, James McGourty, Michael McManus, Brendan McNeil, Matthew Moran–Lanier, Donald Philippe, Patrick Rogers, Daniel Rossetti, Alena Sullivan, David Vasquez, Jackson Vetiac, Christopher Warren, Matthew Wilkins, Elliott Williams, Paul Zaniboni, and Joshua Ziegra.

Officers receiving special recognition were:

  • Patrick Casey – Academic Excellence Award
  • David Kew – Top Gun Award
  • Michael McManus – Drill Instructors Award
  • Alena Sullivan – Unit Citation Award
  • Christopher Warren – Physical Training Award

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