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The Suffolk County Police Academy – People who choose a career to protect and serve are often called to be real-life superheroes. These men and women not only keep the peace, but go above and beyond to ensure that our families remain safe while enjoying the resources and wonders of suburban community life.

Police Officers are not born; they are made–if they make it through the real-life boot camp of the Suffolk County Police Academy. To join the ranks of the Suffolk County Police Department (SCPD), recruits have to undergo six months of rigorous training that measures both a person’s physical and mental fortitude.

On Monday, June 15, 2015, the Suffolk County Police Department held a commencement ceremony at Stony Brook University, welcoming 89 new Cadets to join the ranks of the Suffolk County Police Department. In the past four years, there have been only 168 recruits hired to join the SCPD. This year, the SCPD will receive 68 new officers to join this prestigious police force. The remaining 21 will join other criminal justice departments across Suffolk County.

RV 14-165 greys clasrm1The graduates’ training program entailed 1,150 hours of intensive instruction on a wide range of topics, including law, emergency medical training, domestic violence, mental illness, firearms, crash management, homeland security, road chase strategies and defensive tactics.

The 26 weeks of academy training tests the recruits’ physical and mental stamina. They endure tasks such as being pepper sprayed and tasered in the midst of grueling physical fitness tests. Surprisingly enough, the recruits laugh as they recall the memorable “Taser training” day.

This year’s Academy program wasn’t tougher than the new recruits. In fact, Suffolk Police Commissioner Edward Webber was quoted, “This class of new officers is the most fit police officers that the Suffolk County Police Academy ever graduated.”

Matthew Colao was recognized as the top overall recruit. In his speech, he recounts when, on that first day of Academy, the recruits were asked to share why they wished to become officers. The overwhelming response from every recruit almost rang in chorus, “I just want to live and work to help others.”

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For many of the graduates, this desire to help others runs in the family. As Jen Macaro of Bethpage received her diploma, her sister Christina looked on proudly. Christina Macaro has been serving as an Officer with the Nassau County Police Department for eight years. After the ceremony, Christina beamed, “I’m so proud of her.”

The desire to help others and create positive change in the County is the mark of a true hero.

Class pic 14-165At the ceremony, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone told the graduates that the career they chose is “incredibly rewarding and incredibly difficult.” We recognize the strength of character and commitment that these young men and women have already demonstrated. We know they begin their careers and will continue to serve with the same desire and determination they have today.

We welcome the newest members of the Suffolk County Police Department. It is, by far, one of the best Police Departments in the country, and we are grateful to live here. Congratulations!