71 New Police Officers and 39 New Corrections Employees Report For Duty

90th Delaware State Police and 83rd Municipal Recruit Class

Class Photo
Class Photo

Dover – On Friday, February 10, 2017, the Delaware State Police Superintendent Colonel Nathaniel McQueen Jr. announced the graduation ceremonies for the 90th Delaware State Police and 83rd Municipal Recruit Class.

The ceremonies celebrated and recognized the successful completion of Law Enforcement training of 23 Delaware State Troopers and 30 Law Enforcement Officers representing the Bethany Beach Police Department, Bridgeville Police Department, Delaware River & Bay Authority, Delaware State University Police Department, Department of Natural Resources Police Environmental Control Unit, Department of Natural Resources Police Division of Fish & Wildlife, Department of Natural Resources Police Division of Parks & Recreation, Dewey Beach Police Department, Division of Alcohol & Tobacco Enforcement, Dover Police Department, Lewes Police Department, Milford Police Department, Millsboro Police Department, Newark Police Department, Seaford Police Department, and the University of Delaware Police Department.

The ceremony took place in the Dover High School, Auditorium, in Dover. Dignitaries who addressed the graduates where Governor John C. Carney Jr., Lieutenant Governor Bethany A. Hall-Long, State Attorney General Matthew P. Denn, State Homeland Security Secretary Robert M. Coupe, Colonel Nathaniel McQueen Jr., Superintendent, Delaware State Police and the keynote speaker Major General Francis D. Vavala, Delaware National Guard.

Several of the newly minted troopers and patrol offices received awards that they earned during their training.

97th Wilmington Police Academy Graduates

Wilmington  – Mayor Mike Purzycki and Police Chief Bobby Cummings today announced the completion of the 97th Wilmington Police Academy which began in August of 2016. A graduation ceremony was held today at the Chase Center on the Riverfront for family, friends and supporters of the 18 new police officers who will soon begin their street patrol assignments. The addition of these new officers brings the total number of officers available for active service to 313 out of the 319 authorized police officer positions in Wilmington.

“We thank the new officers for choosing a career that is of such importance to the citizens of Wilmington and to everyone who works in or visits our city,” said Mayor Purzycki. “It is a challenging job, it is a stressful job and, at times, it is an unforgiving job, but it is also one of the most rewarding ways to serve your fellow man. It takes courage, stamina and concern for others to be the best at protecting and defending our citizens and our communities.”

Wilmington City Council President Hanifa Shabazz also attended today’s ceremony and addressed the recruits. “Be proud to be an officer,” said Shabazz. “But take care to be an example. Enjoy the privileges that come with it, but never forget the principles for which you stand. You will have a good deal of authority granted to you as an officer. Make sure to always exercise it responsibly, fairly, and wisely.”

The latest police academy is one of the most diverse in recent years. Of the 18 new officers, seven are female, eight are African Americans and three are Hispanic. The new officers, some of whom do not live in Wilmington, are required to move to the city to comply with Wilmington’s five-year residency law.

The new officers will begin their police duties on Monday. Each will be assigned to work with a more senior police officer for at least six months to develop experience on police patrols.

According to Chief Cummings, the focus of the 97th Police Academy was community-based service and the de-escalation of tense situations. He said training included U.S. Department of Justice programs initiated by former President Obama which included 21st Century Policing, Blue Courage, Verbal De-escalation and Procedural Justice. The Academy focused a great deal of attention on de-escalating situations involving suspects, crowds and members of the community. Recruits also participated in numerous community events with students and conducted a very successful “breaking barriers/building relationships” event with citizens.

Source: Wilmington Mayor’s Office

Department of Correction Graduates its 217th Academy

DOC Academy
DOC Academy

Dover – In a ceremony on Friday, February 3, 2017, the Delaware Department of Correction (DOC) graduated and assigned 39 employees from its Correctional Employee Initial Training (CEIT) academy. The graduates took the oath of office and received their assignments in front of family, friends, and DOC officials. CEIT class #217 consisted of 30 Correctional Officers, 4 Correctional Counselors, 1 Trades Instructor, and 4 Food Service Specialists. The ceremony featured remarks by DOC Commissioner Perry Phelps, training staff, Chaplain Gus Christo, and inspirational words from class speaker William Denis. It also included the presentation of the Outstanding Cadet award to Correctional Officer Jeremiah Purnell.

Members of CEIT class #217 completed nine weeks of training, including hands-on and classroom sessions in a multitude of areas. Areas of concentration included inmate supervision, weapons and chemical munitions, defensive tactics, emergency preparedness, report writing, substance abuse training, CPR/Basic First Aid, and inter-personal communication. They will now join the ranks of more than 2,500 employees who uphold the Department’s mission of protecting the public by supervising nearly 7,000 adult offenders in facilities throughout the state.

During today’s CEIT graduation, Commissioner Phelps presented to the son of Sergeant Steven R. Floyd a Department of Correction Medal of Valor and announced the posthumous promotion of Sergeant Floyd to the rank of Lieutenant. After the above commemorative presentation, Commissioner Phelps concluded this portion of the ceremony with the following statement: “Please know we mourn beside you.” In further honor of Lieutenant Floyd’s dedicated service, Governor Carney provided a statement.

“Lieutenant Floyd was a dedicated member of our law enforcement community who, for 16 years, accepted the challenge of doing a difficult but important job for the people of our state,” said Governor John Carney. “We owe him a debt of gratitude. Along with his family and the rest of Delaware, we continue to mourn his loss. As we honor Lieutenant Floyd, we will commit ourselves to ensuring that our correctional facilities remain secure and our employees remain safe.”

In closing, Commissioner Perry Phelps commended the graduates and provided words of encouragement as they embark upon their law enforcement career. “To CEIT 217, it takes a lot of guts to sit here today. You recognize that this line of work can be dangerous and you show tremendous dedication to the Department and your classmates. On behalf of the DOC, I want to recognize your courage and thank you for dedicating yourself to a life of public service, Phelps said.”

The instruction team for CEIT Class #217 consisted of Staff Lieutenant Bernell Williams, Lieutenant Matthew Hopp, Lieutenant Dean Edge, Corporal Keenan Hutchins, and Corporal Lemuel Ross. Dignitaries included DOC Commissioner Perry Phelps, Corporal Hutchins, Staff Lieutenant Williams, Lieutenant Hopp, Corporal Ross and Bureau of Prisons Chief Chris Klein.

Image Credits: Delaware State Police, DOC