Saturday, August 19, 2023

Bogota Junior Police Academy Class 01..Dismissed


On Friday-18-August the Bogota Junior Police Academy (BJPA) held their Graduation Ceremony for Class 01. This was held in the Morre Gym at Steen School. At the top of the hour Mr. Brandan Hogan, from the Bergen Fire Pipe Band, played " Scotland the Brave" to announce the entrance of the 27 Cadets of the inaugural class. When the Cadets arrived at the front of the stage, they move into class formation. Then Cadet Zoe Nunez led those in attendance in saying the Pledge of Allegiance. After this the class turned to the Audience and recited the General Orders of the Academy. With this complete they march to take their seats on the stage.  
     Program Director Det. Michael Laferrera thanked everyone who came to the Graduation. He then acknowledged those who were took part in helping the Academy to occur this year.  From Bogota Police Dept's Chief Daniel Maye, Bogota Fire and Rescue Depts.Bogota Superintendent of Schools Mr. Damian Kennedy, and Board of Education, along with many public and private sponsors. Director Laferrera then talked about when he and Chief Maye began planning to reestablish an Academy back in Bogota. Then he realized that Chief Maye wanted to start the new program in 2023, in about three months from the date they first talked about it. Director Laferrera introduced many of the individuals who took the time and effort to make Class 01 possible in such a short time. These included Government officials, the Officers who volunteered their time to be instructors, the Interns that provided support, Ms. Elizabeth Wieskus (who he said was responsible in reminding him what day it was, and what was going to happen that day). Also, Sgt Craig Lynch who started and ran the Bogota Police & Emergency Service Youth Academy, which is the foundation (BJPA) and benchmark that many other youth program in the state are judged by. Finally, all the Parents and Families of the Cadets of this class. 
    Chief Maye then talked about the need to restart this program for its effectiveness of training and the growth of Bogota Student. He continued in saying that other Police Dept still continue to ask about the success of the Bogota program, and he knew that this tradition needed to added to.
  Next Ms. Daniele Fede of the Bogota Rescue Squad spoke on behave of Mayor Kelemen, and the Rescue Squad. She recalled when Rescue had presentation at the Academy the work and discipline shown by the Cadet. Before she returned to her seat Director Laferrera present her a plaque in recognition of the financial support, she provided in the restarting of the BJPA. 
   Then Director Laferrera stood in front of the stage and called out each Cadet to step forward and receive their Certificate of Completion. When the last Cadet returned to their seat he introduced the 01 Graduation Class to the sound of cheers and applause from the audience. 
   Next the Squad Leader stepped up to say who they were. Starting with Alpha Squad leader Cadet Nicholas Piterski, Bravo Squad Julia Garica, Charlie Squad Davis Guzman, and Delta Squad Brandon Portugal.  They all announced the members of their Squad and the achievement they accomplished during the Academy.  Then Squad awards were presented.         Bogota Volunteer Frie Dept.  Battalion Chief Adam Schaeffer gave Delta Squad the Fire Dept. Award. Ms. Daniele Fede presented Charlie Squad with the Rescue Squad award. Instructor  Sgt. Devin Riveria announce that Bravo Squad won the Teamwork award. Then Instructor Officer George Hondros award the Physical Fitness prize to Alpha Squad. 
   The final presentation was individual award to certain Cadets. The first was the Blue Line medal for showing the most progress during their time at the Academy. This was given to Mr. Riccardo Ramirez. Next was the Merit Prize, was given to the member of Class 01 who help and support the other members of the Class. This was voted on by the Cadets themselves. Their choice was Mr. Nicholas Piterski. Then the Honor Graduate was the Cadet who Outstanding Achievement at the Academy and was awarded to Mr. Brandon Portugal. The Directors Award for Overall Performance with Respect, Effort, and Discipline was present to Ms. Raquel Camejo.  .
  Before Director Laferrera could give his closing remarks Instructor Officer George Hondros interrupted the ceremony. He presented Director Laferrera with a plaque to recognize his dedication and commitment to the Bogota Junior Police Academy Class 01. Then  Director Laferrera was allowed to finish his thoughts to thank everyone who attended and assisted to this year's Academy. He proceeded on stage and called the Class to attention one more time. He thanked for their work and perseverance over the last 6 day. Told them he was proud and honoured to lead this class and called out the order of being DISMISSED.  Then the first Academy Alumni of the BJPA left the stage to join their families.

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