The Niagara County Law Enforcement Academy graduated its 62nd class during a ceremony held Friday at Niagara University's Castellani Art Museum.
The ceremony's keynote speaker was New York State Sen. Robert G. Ortt, a decorated Army veteran who served in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom.
"By no means is this the end. It's the beginning of a long journey, and a calling that you've been chosen to do," Ortt told the graduates. "As someone who has worn a uniform before, albeit a different one, I want to say thank you for being willing to serve - for being willing to raise your hand and say, 'Send me; I will go.' "
Following Ortt's remarks, NCLEA co-directors Lt. Aaron Shultz and Detective John Faso presented diplomas to 13 graduates:
Niagara University is the only four-year, private college in New York to host a full-time police academy.
"The academy truly adds a wonderful dynamic to our educational environment," said Dr. Debra Colley, NU's executive vice president, during her closing remarks. "In many ways, the work that is represented by this academy is an extension of our Vincentian mission, and we are forever grateful to carry out this work with all of you."
Coordination of the program on Niagara's campus is undertaken by the university's office of continuing education and criminal justice department.
An information session for anyone interested in joining the academy will be held at 5:30 p.m. July 7 at Niagara University.
For more information about the Niagara County Law Enforcement Academy, call 716-286-8759 or email [email protected].