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March 18, 2013

CONTACT: Peter Van Delft
(617) 704-6682


Members of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department Correction Officer Training Academy Class 12–02.

A group of 24 officer candidates were sworn to service by Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins during a graduation ceremony held recently at the Boston Sheraton Hotel on Dalton Street.

Speaking before a crowded ballroom that included Department training staff and members of his Executive Team, Sheriff Tompkins addressed the many family members and friends in attendance for the graduates of Correction Officer Training Academy Class 12–02 (COTA 12–02).

"I cannot emphasize enough how much your support has contributed to the achievement of these officers," said Sheriff Tompkins. "I would like to applaud you for seeing them through this rigorous process. It means a lot to us and it’s meant a lot to them."

To serve as an officer in the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department, candidates must successfully complete a twelve–week training academy that requires intensive instruction in a host of practical and classroom subjects that include: ethics and professionalism, suicide prevention, 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.

Among a host of issues that he will seek to address as the new Sheriff of Suffolk County, providing the services necessary for the successful reentry of ex–offenders ranks as one of the more immediate points of focus for Sheriff Tompkins.

"The primary responsibility for correction officers is the care and custody of inmates and detainees within our facilities while exuding the highest levels of respect, courtesy and professionalism," Sheriff Tompkins stated. "Over the years, the role of the correction officer has expanded, and our mission is also to ensure that the people in our custody leave to return to their communities better than they were when they were sentenced."

Before administration of the Correction Officer’s Oath and the ceremonial pinning of badges to end the night, COTA Class 12–02 President Joshua Spitaleri took to the podium to speak to the assembly.

"I would like to thank Sheriff Tompkins for this opportunity and also the training staff for preparing us for this moment," said Officer Spitaleri. "We should be proud of ourselves and of this accomplishment. We were individuals who came together as a team, and now that team has become family. Congratulations, COTA Class 12–02 -- I know that we’re prepared for the next step."

As is custom for each graduating class of officers, a chosen few are singled out with special recognition for carrying their efforts above and beyond the call of duty during their time in the Academy.

Award recipients for COTA Class 12–02 were: James McNamara, who won the Academic Excellence award with a Grade Point Average of 98.52; Marlon Juba, who was presented with the award for Physical Training; taking the award for Defensive Tactical Training was James Grant; winning the award for Top Gun was Scott Drinkwater; receiving the Unit Citation award was Joshua Spitaleri; and taking home the Drill Instructor’s award was Thanh Tran.

Members of COTA Class 12–02 also included Donnell Bailey, Jasmany Beato, Christopher Bonadies, Jamaal Brooks, Michael Clark, Stephen Cournoyer, Marci Ferry, Courteney Hall, John Hughes, Edward Johnson, Christopher Kelley, Renaldy Marcelin, Leanne Martel, Jeremy McCurdy, Christopher McDonough, Robert Morales, Joseph Simonson and Ryan Walsh.

All 24 new officers are now working at the Suffolk County House of Correction.

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