FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 11, 2014
CONTACT: Peter Van Delft
Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins and the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department recently welcomed 31 new officers into the corrections profession, with 28 custody staff members slated to serve at the Suffolk County House of Correction and three going online in Norfolk County.
Before a packed assembly of family, friends, Department command staff and employees gathered at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel, Sheriff Tompkins addressed the crowd before speaking directly to the former trainees.
“You have a very, very important job,” Sheriff Tompkins told the officers. “People depend on us to do the right thing. Your training has taught you to do the right thing, and I expect you to do the right thing. I’m expecting you to show the pride that your friends, families and loved ones expect of you. I know you can do it. I believe we chose an outstanding class of men and women to safeguard the citizens and communities of Suffolk County. I applaud you and wish you Godspeed going forward.”
Those candidates chosen to become officers of the Department have successfully completed a rigorous twelve–week training academy that requires intensive instruction in several 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.
Following the swearing–in ceremony for his fellow new officers, COTA 13–01 Class President Matthew Callahan took to the podium to speak directly to his colleagues and supporters.
“We have all come so far, but this is just the beginning,” said Officer Callahan. “Moments like these, they define us. They propel us towards a path of greatness and provide us opportunities to excel and make immense differences. Draw upon the pride and knowledge of our predecessors and take pride in the knowledge that you walk among greatness. The profession that you have chosen is one of greatness and pride.”
Offering his congratulation to these graduates who were once new recruits in the Training Academy, Assistant Deputy Superintendent and Director of Training Jose Mojica spoke about the process leading up to this moment.
“Henry Ford, a pioneer in auto–making once said, ‘Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.’ We have seen you grow in each of these phases and I can say with all confidence that you have a solid foundation to build upon. It is up to each of you to continue to strive and make a positive mark in this profession. Your class is in a position to excel, so we have high expectations of you. Be a role model for those around you each day.”
Speaking to the assembly, Norfolk County Sheriff Michael Bellotti congratulated the new officers and thanked their supporters before turning his comments toward Sheriff Tompkins.
“I want to thank Sheriff Steve Tompkins, who even before he was sheriff, was very much a leader in corrections…making sure the professionalism, outreach and expansion of the role of Sheriff was accomplished in Suffolk County,” said Sheriff Bellotti. “When you’re the Sheriff of Suffolk County, you are considered a leader among sheriffs because of the issues that you deal with. Sheriff Tompkins came to the job with incredible leadership abilities and he was a proven entity before that.”
Award recipients for COTA Class 13–02 included: John Joyce, Academic Award; Officer Callahan, Top Gun Award; Ricardo Colon, Defensive Tactics Award; James Wirtz, Drill Instructors Award; Kyle McCabe, Physical Training Award; and Amanda Grenier, Unit Citation Award.
Remaining members of COTA Class 13–02 are: Christina Bagnera, Daniel Baldner, Jamal Baptiste, Clifford Battite, Sandra Cosby, Erik Doldt, Ryan Douglass, Bernard Evers, Meghan Jenkins, Eric Lo, Nichole MacNeil, Thomas McCauley, Jeanette McDaniel, Anthony Portrait, Yovanny Rodriguez, Christopher Simon, Christopher Sutliff, Jeffrey Tejeda, Rashel Vargas, Jason Villanueva, Michael Walker, William Ward, Stacey Wood, Anthony Pepdjonovic, and Michael Santiago.