PURCHASE, N.Y. – The Westchester Police Academy’s 137th class graduated 63 police officers Friday at Purchase College.
The annual graduation ceremony featured special recongition awards. They include:
- Firearms Award – Eric Peterson, of the Village of Croton Police
- Physical Fitness Award: Jesse Gold, of the Village of Scarsdale Police
- Epirit De Corps Awards: Joseph Diaz, of the Putnam County Sheriff’s office
- Highest Academic Average Award: Paul Roberts, of the Village of Pelham Manor Police, who earned a 99.3-percent grade point average
- Best All-Around Recruit Award: Lansing Hinrichs, of the City of Rye Police
Matthew Gillespie gave the graduate address and Tara L. Altamuro, who is one of five to join the White Plains police Department, sang the National Anthem to open the ceremony and “God Bless America” to close it.
Altamuro’s journey started about three years ago when she approached her cousin Jeff Park, a 19 year veteran of the White Plains Police Department.
“Tara comes up to my house and says I want to becoem a police officer. I said that’s great, just take the test that’s coming up. She took the test, scored very high,” Park said.
Chief Gregory Austin, Rye Brook Police Chief and President of the Westchester County Chiefs of Police Association, spoke before the graduates walked the stage.
“Remember that it was not easy to get here and that’s because with this career comes great responsibilities that should never be taken lightly,” he said. “Today after you leave this ceremony and while you’re celebrating your accomplishments, take a moment and enjoy the experiences of today. Sit back and take it all in, because It will get ugly out there and when it does, think back to what it meant to you when you first became a police officer.”
Frank Luongo was one of five to join the Harrison Police Department, just a few short weeks after his Harrison recreation league boys basketball team won a county-wide all-star tournament .
The new officers and their departments in Westchester are:
- Ardsley: David Piccolino
- Bedford: Nancy Pietrzyk
- Croton-on-Hudson: Eric Peterman
- Eastchester: James Kehoe, Robert Krause, Charles Mineo
- Dobbs Ferry: Jamie Castiello
- Greenburgh: Courtney Doherty, Geoffrey Hart, Mark Maiden
- Harrison: Daniel Caldarola, Joseph DeRubeis, Frank Luongo, Jonathan Mezzancello, Charles Pascale,
- Hastings: Bruce Marquez
- Mount Vernon: Racquel Davidson, Antoine Henrys, Avion Lee, Ravin Palmer, Natalie Powell, William Stapleton, Curtis Subryan
- New Rochelle: John Care, Robert Johnson, Daniel Maldonado, Robert Mansfield, Michael Martins, Christine Walsh
- North Castle: Kyle McCarrick, Anthony Sabatella
- Peekskill: Gerrit Dykstra
- Pelham Manor: Paul Roberts
- Pleasantville: Vincent Velardo
- Rye: Latoya Anderson, Lansing Hinrichs
- Scarsdale: James Gannon, Jesse Gold, Brett Purpura
- Tuckahoe: Daniel Coughlin, Ashley Tuccitto
- White Plains: Tara Altamuro, Lianna Fallon, David Garcia, Christopher Johnson, Brennan Lasher
- Yonkers: Neville Bennett, Paul Bousche, Jessica Day, Hewitt DePass, Robert Metz
- Yorktown: Thomas Beyrer
- Westchester County: Paul DeSousa, Richard Lepore, Michael McAllister
The remaining graduates and their departments:
- Brewster: Nicholas Mirko
- Putnam County Sheriff: Joseph Diaz, Eric Hayes, Charles Johnson, Benjamin Levine
- Glen Cove: Matthew Gillespie, Katherine Theodorou
- City of Poughkeepsie: Frederick Yerks