A pair of Falls police officers are among the Niagara County Law Enforcement Academy's 65th graduation class.
Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York James P. Kennedy Jr. was the keynote speaker at the ceremony held Thursday at Niagara University's Castellani Art Museum.
Kennedy, who has served in his current position since last October, is a recipient of the United States Attorney General's John Marshall Award, the highest award given to Department of Justice employees for excellence in litigation. He has also received numerous other awards and previously traveled to the Republic of Georgia to serve as a trial technique instructor as part of a DOJ program designed to teach foreign prosecutors in emerging democracies how to prosecute criminal cases.
"By choosing to become police officers, each of you has begun to reveal that you have a heart that says, 'I want to protect, I want to serve,' " Kennedy said to the NCLEA class. "Only if you follow through and put your whole heart into it will you find true happiness, success and fulfillment.
"Remember, from this day forward, your life's message will, for better or for worse, flow from your heart through the badge that covers it. Wear that badge proudly. Wear that badge honorably."
NCLEA co-directors Lt. Shawn Grapes and Detective John Faso then presented diplomas to the following graduates:
• Matthew Bower — Niagara Falls Police Department
• Ryan Bradt — pre-employment
• Stephen Cappotelli — Village of LeRoy Police Department
• Matthew Dispenza — City of Batavia Police Department
• Steven Kerfoot Jr. — Niagara Falls Police Department
• Yanni Malamas — pre-employment
• Louis Oswald — Town of Tonawanda Police Department
• Richard Rotolo — pre-employment
• Anthony Sorrentino — Village of Kenmore Police Department
• Austin Steinbrenner — Village of LeRoy Police Department
• Andrew Thompson — Town of Tonawanda Police Department
• Jeremy Wyse — Town of Tonawanda Police Department
• Academic Award: Steven Kerfoot Jr.
• Physical Fitness Award: Austin Steinbrenner
• Sgt. Jeff Juron Defensive Tactics Award: Louis Oswald
• Top Gun Award: Louis Oswald
• Jeffrey A. Incardona Memorial Award: Steven Kerfoot Jr.
• Joseph E. Steblein Memorial Award: Steven Kerfoot Jr.
Niagara University is the only four-year, private college in New York to host a full-time police academy.
Coordination of the program on Niagara's campus is undertaken by the university's Office of Continuing Education and criminal justice department.
For more information about the Niagara County Law Enforcement Academy, please call 286-8759 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.