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September 10, 2012

CONTACT: Peter Van Delft
(617) 704-6682


Members of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department Correction Officer Training Academy (COTA) Class 12–01 stand for their graduation picture.

Thirty–two new officers joined the ranks of corrections professionals at the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department during the recent Correction Officer Training Academy (COTA) Graduation of Class 12–01, held at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel in South Boston.

Family members and friends of the new graduates traveled from communities across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the State of New Hampshire to celebrate their loved ones as they completed the final steps of their collective journey into a career in law enforcement.

To achieve this distinction, officer candidates are required to complete a rigorous twelve–week training academy with instruction in a host of practical and classroom subjects that include: 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.

Speaking about COTA Class 12–01, Superintendent of the House of Correction and Special Sheriff Gerard Horgan assured audience members that these new officers were both ready and able to meet their new challenge.

"These men and women are joining a Department where the training is second to none," said Superintendent Horgan. "They are well equipped, they are well prepared and they are going to excel. They will be working with Superintendent Gene Sumpter who has been with the Department for nearly twenty–five years, Deputy Superintendent Cliff Carney who has been with the Department for nearly twenty–five years and other members of the command staff who are going to treat them with respect and teach them the job well."

Addressing the graduates, Assistant Superintendent and Supervisor of Training Yolanda Smith gave the new officers her keys to success in their new profession.

"Each of you must walk in the door being a role model," began Assistant Superintendent Smith. "Let your attention to detail shine. Look and act professionally every step of the way. Keep your professional boundaries high and always be willing to help others."

Before turning the stage over to the Department’s newest members, Asst. Supt. Smith recognized those who helped them along the way.

"I’d also like to thank all the families and friends of our newest officers, because your compassion and support was a very important part of their success," said Smith. "Tonight, I salute you as well, because their success is yours to cherish, too."

As an extension of that collective success, several members of the class were honored with individual recognition for their outstanding efforts during the academy by members of the Training Division. Those honorees were: Brendan Sweeney, who won both the Academic Excellence Award and the Top Gun Award; Devon Jennings and Daniel Gomez, who each received the Physical Training Award; Melissa Belmonte, who earned the Unit Citation Award; and Brian Petelle, who garnered the Drill Instructor’s Award.

Prior to the ceremony in which COTA Class 12–01 members were sworn into service during the Correction Officer’s Oath, Class President Ever Gomez gave one final testament on behalf of the class that would soon be transformed into graduates of the Training Academy and, thus, full–fledged members of the officer cadre of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department.

"We went from saying 'I' to saying 'we,'" said Officer Gomez. "Most importantly, we began to take care of others like brothers and sisters do, and that is exactly what we became at the end of twelve weeks –brothers and sisters. Family, friends and colleagues – please be reassured that we are all prepared to begin our new careers. Be sure that we take care of one another at all times both in and out of work and be sure that the thirty–two of us made it this far because we had your love, patience and support. On behalf of COTA Class 12–01 – thank you."

Along with the aforementioned participants, the members of COTA Class 12–01 are: Daniel Adjemian, Bryan Anderson, Derek Anderson, Patrick Arroyo, James Bartlett, Lance Bryden, Christina Caban, John Caloggero, John Carson, Nicholas Conway, Michael Cowgill, Deirdra Dostou, Noel Esteves, Patrick Fallon, Elaine Goodrow, Matthew Hicks, Kenny Jaramillo, Amie Le, DonJuan Murray, Christian Owens, Gerald Perkins, Jonuel Rios, Jeffrey Smith, Sydney Spence, Lauren Welch, and Bryan Wilcox.

All thirty–two officers have been assigned to the Department’s Nashua Street Jail.


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