LEWISTON – The Niagara County Law Enforcement Academy graduated its 60th class last month in Niagara University’s Castellani Art Museum.
The new officers were introduced to some of the officers in whose footsteps they will follow, including keynote speaker and former Niagara County Sheriff Thomas A. Beilein. Beilein currently serves as chairman of the New York State Commission of Corrections. He was introduced by Sheriff James R. Voutour, who called his predecessor “one of the most outstanding law enforcement personnel I’ve ever met.”
Voutour also recognized former Lockport Police Chief Lawrence Eggert, who retired Dec. 30 after 36 years with the department.
Beilein’s message to the graduates was gleaned from more than 45 years in law enforcement, including 14 as sheriff of Niagara County.
He urged the graduates to serve the community with pride and to follow their moral compass.
Among the graduates were three new North Tonawanda officers, four new Niagara Falls officers, three new Genesee County sheriff deputies, one new Lockport officer and three who have not been placed in a department.
Class president Rachel Diehl, who will be a Genesee County deputy, congratulated her fellow classmates on their 20-week training and asked them to not just be good officers, but also good people.
Awards were given to: Matthew Vosler, Lockport police officer, for academics; Jeffrey Kam, North Tonawanda police, physical fitness; Ryan DeLong, Genesee County sheriff, Sgt. Jeff Juron Defensive Tactics Award; Kevin Forsyth, Genesee County, Top Gun Award; Gabriel Gonzalez, Niagara Falls police, the Jeffrey A. Incardona Memorial Award, awarded by classmates to a fellow classmate who shows the unselfish behavior and displays the teamwork of the late Niagara County sheriff’s deputy; and Kevin Forsyth, Genesee County, the Joseph F. Steblein Award, named for the first director of the Niagara County Law Enforcement Academy and given to the student who exceeds overall.
The academy is in its fourth year at Niagara University, making Niagara the only four-year, private college in New York to host a full-time police academy. The program is coordinated by the university’s Office of Continuing Education and Criminal Justice Department.
Applications for the next class, which begins on Feb. 1, are being accepted. For more information, call 286-8759 or email email@example.com.