NECC/Methuen Police Academy Graduates 56
Attending the Northern Essex Community College/Methuen Police Academy is like earning your associate degree, playing a varsity sport, and being in the military all at once, said Thomas Fleming, director of the academy as he addressed the 56 student officers and their families and friends during Friday, February 23, graduation in the NECC Sport & Fitness Center.
The class, which included a former flight attendant, a DJ, a minister, a correctional officer, and an accountant, was the fifth class to graduate since the inception of the academy on NECC’s Haverhill campus.
The event began with a processional of the Irish American Police Officers Association, Pipes & Drums, Police Department Honor Guard, staff instructors and student officers.
Student officer Izinna Lytle of the Pittsfield Police Department sang the national anthem.
The opening prayer was offered by student officer Daniel Ko of the Gordon College Police Department who said “…we pray for the blessing of your protection.”
Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera, who watched as seven of Lawrence’s police officers graduated, commended the academy for producing “quality police officers”. He commended the graduates on their career choice. “They have the most difficult job in America.”
He encouraged them to get involved in their community by coaching a sports team or being a scout leader.
Methuen Mayor James Jajuga, who oversaw six Methuen officers graduate, told the graduates, “You have the best job in America,” he said to applause. “You have the ability to shape and change lives.”
He cautioned them against falling into cynicism. “Treat everybody the way you want to be treated,” he
said. “Be strong and proud.”
Daniel Zivkovich, the executive director of the Municipal Police Training Committee, I commend and thank you for your career choice. He told them their jobs as police officers would prove to be both “rewarding and challenging… there is nothing more noble.”
He said that in today’s world of social media they should expect to be watched closely.
“They have a right to hold us accountable… Your community is the world,” he said, “Be a person of exceptional character…in everything you say. In everything you do. Serve with honor… Do what’s right because it’s the right thing to do. Serve with courage. It takes courage to serve ethically and with integrity. Serve with commitment to the community, the profession, and self… There is no room for mediocrity in policing”.
Fleming lauded NECC President Lane Glenn, who was unable to attend the ceremony, for recognizing the need for training first responders and taking the lead in opening the campus to the academy, which now uses the gymnasium, classrooms, and fields.
George Moriarty, Executive Director, Center of Corporate and Community Education, spoke on President Glenn’s behalf “As you know, today there are so many challenges facing police officers …it’s important to have a connections between higher education and the police academy.
He noted that the academy has already graduated over 200 recruits through five cycles of training. The next class had more than 100 applic
ants of which 80 were selected to enroll. “This is an indication of the need…and strength of this program”
Student Officer and Class President Thomas Slavin of the Beverly Police Department, addressed the class. “People get into law enforcement for different reasons. Whether they joined after 911 or because of family, regardless of the “reasons that brought us here on September 5, we’ve transformed from individuals into a tight-knit class”.
The class raised and donated $1,000 to Special Olympics. Meghan Hoffman accepted the donation saying, “law enforcement is one of Special Olympic’s fasting growing partners”.
All the graduates completed an intensive 24-week program that covered constitutional law, prevention
and intervention, community policing, domestic violence, elder abuse, victims’ rights, and other topics. All training took place on the Haverhill Campus except for firearms training and emergency driving techniques, which were held, at off-campus locations.
Northern Essex manages the academy with guidance from an advisory board that includes police chiefs from Amesbury, Haverhill, Methuen, Lawrence, and North Andover. The NECC/Methuen Police Academy is authorized by the Municipal Police Training Commi
The academy opened in February 2015 in response to a shortage of academies in the area. At the time, Haverhill Police Chief Alan DeNaro, said that the Merrimack Valley has needed a regional police academy for over 25 years. “By partnering with NECC, we will be able to move quickly and efficiently train our new recruits as they embark on their chosen profession.”
For more information, contact George Moriarty at email@example.com or 978 556-1224.
Here is a list of the awards given at graduation.