Niagara County Law Enforcement Academy Completes 78th Class | Local News


SANBORN — With the strains of bagpipes echoing through the halls of the Niagara County Community College Media & Arts Building, a diverse class of 20 recruits from nine different law enforcement agencies, spanning four western New York counties, has took the stage in the auditorium to mark their graduation from the 78th Basic Policing Course at the Niagara County Law Enforcement Academy on Friday afternoon.

The new police officers and sheriff’s deputies were a mix of men and women. Some were veterans of the US Armed Forces, while others had family ties to law enforcement.

One of the rookies scored near perfect in marksmanship, while others were singled out for their academics and leadership.

Niagara County Sheriff’s Radiant Academy Co-Director Lt. Julie Kratz told the graduates, “You should be extremely proud of the progress you’ve made. She described the six months of training received by recruits as “grueling”, “draining” and “draining”.

“Always try to maintain the same enthusiasm with which you leave here today,” said Kratz. “Remember who you were before you started your career (in law enforcement). Never stop training. The skills you have learned are perishable.

Class president, Niagara County Sheriff’s Deputy Sarah Wentland, challenged her classmates to remember what Kratz and co-head of the academy, Niagara Falls Police Detective , Angelo Berti, told them at the start of their training.

“They challenged us to find our ‘Why?’ recalls Wentland, a former Baltimore police patrolman. “Why are you here? Why are you a police officer? My ‘why’ is to meet the challenge facing law enforcement today to be ready when someone calls for help. Run to the danger when others run away To give a voice to those who have no voice.

Wentland predicted that the academy training had “prepared us well for our profession” and ultimately reminded the class that they were no longer just a group of individuals.

“We are a team. A unit. We are never an ‘I’,” she said.

Wentland received her school leaving certificate from her husband, retired Lockport police detective Brian Wentland. New Falls Police Constable Nicholas Lepine received his certificate from his father, former Falls Police Captain Ronald Lepine.

While noting that the public continues to demand “better trained officers,” Niagara County Sheriff Michael Filicetti said, “Graduates from this academy are some of the best trained recruits in the world.”

Falls Police Officer Samantha Stonebreaker was honored for her academic achievement, while Erie County Sheriff’s Deputy Christopher Thomas received the fitness award. Lockport Police Officer Ian Smith received both the Jeffrey A. Incardona Memorial Award and Sgt. Jeff Juron Defensive Tactics Award.

Filicetti noted that the Incardona award is given to the rookie who shows “the greatest heart, personality and commitment. Just like Deputy Incardona did.

Incardona was killed when his patrol car crashed as he rushed to help a Lockport police officer who was injured in a shootout.

The Scott Barnes Top Gun Award, named for a former Niagara County Sheriff’s Criminal Investigator, went to Erie County Sheriff’s Deputy Nicholas Cervoni, who earned a near-perfect score (99.9%) in firearms training. and the Joseph E. Steblein Memorial Award, given to the academy’s top graduate, was presented to Wentland.


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