Sheriff to Address NECC Graduates
Massachusetts Essex County Sheriff Frank G. Cousins, Jr. will be the featured speaker at Northern Essex’s 49th annual commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 21, at 11 a.m. on the Haverhill campus.
Cousins attended Northern Essex before transferring to Springfield College, where he received both a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services and a master’s in criminal justice.
He was appointed sheriff of Essex County in 1996 by then Massachusetts Gov. William F. Weld. Two years later, in November of 1998, he was elected to his first six-year term as Sheriff of Essex County. This victory paved the way for the continuation of the progressive philosophy with which he had begun managing the Sheriff ’s Department.
Goal setting has been a priority for Cousins, a Newburyport resident. Since his appointment, he has made significant changes in the department including opening three offices of community corrections, two civil process offices, and the county’s first ever women’s pre-release facility. Administratively, he restructured the management of the depart¬ment and instituted a line-item budget as a cost control measure. He is responsible for managing the operations of nine facilities, a staff of 543 employees, a daily inmate population of 2,000 and an annual operating budget in excess of $45 million.
Cousins was invited to address the 2011 graduates by President David Hartleb.
“We’ve found that our graduates can relate to someone who has walked the corridors and sat in the classrooms at Northern Essex,” said Hartleb. “At a time when many are deciding what direction to take with their life, it is a reminder that anything is possible and that it is okay to dream and set high goals.”
Cousins’ selection also is a good fit considering that criminal justice is one of the college’s most highly enrolled programs, having experienced almost 43 percent growth in the past five years. The college offers an associate degree in criminal justice and a certificate in law enforcement, leading to careers as a mu¬nicipal police officer, state trooper, correction officer, or insurance investigator. The college partners with the Essex County Sheriff ’s Office to place students in internships and jobs.
“I am honored to have been asked to be the Commencement Speaker for this year’s graduation,” said Cousins. I began my college career at Northern Essex and value the great learning opportunities I received which allowed me to be successful in furthering my education and career.”
Northern Essex Community College’s Commencement will be held in the quadrangle on the college’s Haverhill Campus.