HARRISON, N.Y. -- Forty-five new police officers were welcomed into law enforcement Friday during graduation ceremonies at SUNY Purchase.
But the 142nd session of the Westchester County Police Academy was warned that 2016 has turned out to be among the deadliest for American police officers. Nationwide, 137 were killed on duty this year, up from 113 all of last year. Deaths by gunfire are up 68 percent: 64 so far this year compared to 38 in 2015.
Westchester County Police Commissioner George N. Longworth said, "We demanded their best – and they gave it to us. If they hadn’t, they wouldn’t be here today."
"You are entering law enforcement in a year that has been an especially dangerous one for our profession. Across our country, we have seen a large spike in the number of officers seriously injured or slain by gunfire," Longworth said.
"These incidents are a stark reminder of the dangers that you face in the profession you have chosen as your life’s work. It is difficult to hear these things at a time of celebration, on a day when we want you to know how proud we are of you. But we cannot send you from the Police Academy to our streets without a candid reminder of the times we live in," Longworth said.
"The good news, however, is this: you have received the best training there is. You are prepared to handle whatever might come your way."
Here is a list of Friday's police academy graduates by the municipality or department they will be working for.
Stephen M. Betz, John Broccoli and Bryan T. Raffa.
Taylor D. Braig, Brian P. Doherty and Craig L. Thomas.
Matias A. Alves, Joseph DeFonce, Richard J. Light and Christopher N. Pascale
Walter A. Reyes
Michael A. Barnes, Clinton A. Boxhill, Clinton A. Malik L. Burts, Diana I. Figueiredo, Jonathan J. Garcia, Micaela S. Henry, Chanti M. Johnson, Joseph A. Lowe, Charles A. Rizzo, Victoria E. Waddell and Timothy L. Zalesny
Jordan M. Foley
Sean L. McGrail and Robert P. Mifsud
Anthony J. Perillo, Joseph A. Rinaldi and Andrea K. Zambrano
Kevin M. O'Connor
Steven J. McCann
Salvatore J. Maniscalco III
Evan D. Belluscio, Douglas Clayton, Denis M. Delango, John D. Detone, Theresa L. Donohue, Patrick M. Greene, Michael A. Heath, Jamal D. McCown, Vincent L. Reda, Michael J. Vataj and James J. Waldron.
Also graduating from the police academy and employed by the Westchester County District Attorney's Office was Michael J. Gabriel. Another graduate, Jeruzelski Z. Goy, will work as a special narcotics prosecutor.