Class #03 of the Bogota Police Emergency Services Academy held their Graduation ceremony on Tuesday Night in the Gymnasium of Steen School in Bogota. This was final event for the Cadets of the the Academy's eight day training course. Director Sgt. Craig Lynch, of the Bogota Police Dept. welcomed the Parents to be part of the achievement their Children have been through. The Cadets marched in to the sound of bagpipes and performed a quick short order drill for the audience showing off their skills as being part of a single unit. When the Cadet assembled on stage they again shown their movement as one when they came to attention, presented arms, and recited the Pledge of Allegiance with crisp, and clear motions.
Sgt. Lynch then gave his opening address to report on how the Academy has grown in just three years. He talked about how proud he is of the Instructors, and Staff of the Academy and how hard they have worked over the past days. He then said that the Cadets themselves had also work as hard, or harder in that time, and how these and past Cadet have made the program what it is today. He told about when they first came together on Orientation day some scared, almost all nervous, on what was to follow but after that day all the Cadets that were accepted into the Academy had stayed, and Graduated together. Sgt Lynch talked about how these newest Graduates are part of something larger then, themselves, and how they are also a part of a growing family. This was shown by the number of past Cadet had attended to watch their fellow Cadets move forward. These past graduates stood when Sgt. Lynch asked then to, and sat down in unison at his command. He smile at the thought of the respect he, and the Academy, has been given by the former Cadets. Bogota Police Chief John Burke had some words for the Cadets and their Families in attendance. Chief Burke mentioned that when was appointed to his position that he wanted the Department to become more active in the Community. He did not give any one an idea of how this should be done, just that something was needed to reach out to the citizens of Bogota. When Sgt. Lynch , ands others came to him with the concept of a Youth Academy the Dept. gave then as much help as they could. Now Chief Burke is proud to say that the Academy has not only grown, but has attracted Officers from outside of the Borough, who use their personal time off to come to work with the Academy, as well as starting to become more self sufficient and did not have to any funds come from the Dept. budget. Chief Burke ended by saying he is looking forward to the next Academy along with working with the Cadets of this, and past classes.
After the certificates of graduation had been awarded to each Cadet some individual, and Squad award were announced. Master Milton Perez of the Gong Kwon Academy in Bogota honoured those Cadets that had excelled in their self defense training. Then Bogota Rescue Chief Sean Reilly presented Squad awards for the different disciplines. Delta Squad ( the Delta Dogs) won for the first Aid , and Rescue skills. While Bravo Squad achieved the highest scores for the water rescue train while at the Bogota Pool. Chief Reilly said at one point he was worried about the safety of the "victims" in some of the exercises because some Cadets may be too focused on winning , instead of working together as a team. Chief Reilly was pleased with the dedication that the Cadets displayed to learning, and doing the tasks given. Other Squad awards were the Academic achievement award went to Charlie Squad. While Alpha Squad won the Physical training award. Certain Cadets were awarded certificates to recognize their leadership qualities that come out during the course of the Academy.
There were three Cadet that received special recognition from the Academy. Before they were named it was announced that the Academy will no longer accepts Cadet for more then two classes. However there were three Cadet had completed the first three years of the Academy, Cadet #18 Kayla Garcia,
Cadet #33 Colin McDonnell, and Cadet # 35 Rachel Puildo were all brought forward to be given a frame copy of their uniform numbers. These three numbers 18, 33, & 35 were officially retired to honour the service these students of Bogota had given to the Academy. Finally the top Cadet Award was to be handed out. Sgt. Lynch to a pause to thank Dr. Luis Luna who has made a charitable contribution to the Academy in honour of his Father. Sgt. Lynch then announced that the top Cadet Award will be named Dionicio Luna Excellence Award to thank Dr. Luna for his support, and honour the memory of his father. Sgt. Lynch then called forward the first two runner ups Cadet Shannon Fowler was second runner- up, Cadet Deborah Sanz was named first runner-up. and with the aid of first Top Cadet winner Cindy Perpepaj the Top Cadet for Class #03 was award Cadet Olivia Toutounjian.
With that Class #03 of the Bogota Police Emergency Services Academy was dismissed.
After the Cadets had left the left the stage Coordinator Anna Ferris had a special presentation to show. It was a video showing that even in serious and difficult training there is time for relaxed moments as the Instructors, and Staff did their version of the Harlem Shake. During the Ceremonies itself there was time for lighter, and touching moments. One being when a phone call rang out as Sgt. Lynch gave his welcoming , then had to stop to turn off his phone. With Ms. Ferris letting everyone know whose phone it was. Then Chief Burke questioning Instructor Perez on how many push-ups was that indiscretion going to cost Sgt. Lynch. Then when Ms. Ferris tried to keep herself form becoming too emotional when talking about her Cadets, or Dr. Luna being overcome when it was announced that his Father will have the Top Cadet Award named after him.
With that the Cadets, Family, & Friends had a chance to share the rest of the evening with each other.
|Piper Eamom Radburn , of Engine Co. 2, leading the Cadets to the Stage.|
|The Cadet performing a Short order drill for the Audience|
|Katie Ferris singing the National Anthem.|
|Academy Dir. Sgt Craig Lynch|
|Coordinator Anna Ferris talking about Class #03|
| Bogota Police Chief John Burke thanking Sgt. Lynch , |
and Academy Class #03 for ther hard work.
| Bogota Rescue Squad Chief Sean Reilly|
Presenting awards to the Squads
| Cadets (L) #18 Kayla Garcia, #33 Colin McDonnell, & #35 Rachel Pulido|
having their Cadet numbers retired.
|Top Cadet Class#03 Olivia Toutounjian|
|Bogota Police Emergency Youth Academy Class #03|
|Dr. Luna (L) with Sgt.Lynch|
|Instructor Gabriel Castellanos with some of his"Angels"|
|Instructors , and Cadets sharing a few more moments.|
| Top Cadet Class#03 Olivia Toutounjian|
with Anna Ferris(L) & Sgt .Craig lynch