Mayor Bloomberg and Correction Commissioner Dora Schriro today presided over a graduation ceremony for 260 Recruit Correction Officers at York College in Queens. The class members, who have successfully completed a rigorous 16-week training program at the DOC Training Academy in Queens, include 92 women and 168 men. They will join their colleagues in New York City’s jail system, which currently has custody of 12,500 men and women awaiting trial or sentenced to a year or less in the City’s jails.
“New York City’s Correction Officers, our Boldest, may not be as visible as other uniformed services, but our gratitude for the work they do and the risks they face is just as deep,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Congratulations to our newest peace officers, who will be joining a proud team charged with keeping our City safe and ensuring our best days are still ahead.”
“Our City’s Correction Officers fulfill several critical roles when it comes to keeping New York safe,” said Deputy Mayor Gibbs. “Not only do they function as day to day peace officers, but they have also become increasingly active in engaging with inmates in ways that prepare them for successfully transiting back into the community.”
“The job of Correction Officer is a tough job,” said Commissioner Schriro. “It requires strength and stamina, good will and good humor, a clear understanding of the law and steadfast commitment to uphold the law. Today’s graduates are pledging to become one of New York’s Boldest – a Department of exceptional correction professionals.”
The Department has approximately 8,500 uniform staff and 1,500 civilians who work in the facility’s 10 jails on Rikers Island and four borough facilities, as well as detention facilities in the courts and two hospital prison wards.
The graduating class will also extend DOC’s tradition of multiple family members serving the Department: 65 members of the class have family at DOC. This includes three mothers, eight fathers, one son, four sisters, 14 aunts and seven uncles who are already part of the Department.
One graduate, Khalil Barcia, of Queens, will begin his career as a DOC officer wearing the badge previously worn by his mother, Correction Officer Robin Wilson, who died of cancer in 2006 at age 47 after 15 years in the Department. Another graduate, Chee-Chee Duncan, will begin her career as a DOC officer wearing the badge previously worn by her brother, Correction Officer Kenneth Duncan, who was shot and killed while off-duty during an attempted robbery at his home in Brooklyn four years ago, in April 2008.
The class also includes two brothers from Staten Island, Keith and Kenneth Hood, and a married couple from Brooklyn, Andres Portes Jr. and Nneka Garel-Portes. The graduating mother is Jacqueline Dwyer, whose son, Nigel Graham, graduated with the Class or August 2011. Mr. Graham and his mother are from Suffolk County.
The valedictorian for this year’s class is Billcardo Joissin, of Brooklyn. The top shooter at the Firearm Training Unit is Recruit Officer Danny Moyle, of the Bronx.
Six of this year’s graduates are active reservists in the U.S. military and 27 are veterans of the U.S. armed forces, as follows: Army (13), Navy (8), Air Force (4), Marines (3). Four served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, in Kuwait. Also, 47 Recruit Officers have earned Associates Degrees, 67 possess Bachelor’s Degrees and two have Masters Degrees.
Most of the Recruit Officers come from the five boroughs of New York City—Brooklyn (83), Queens (62), Bronx (36), Manhattan (18) and Richmond (15). The rest are from Suffolk County (13), Westchester County (7), Orange County (1) and Rockland County (1).
In addition to the graduation of 260 Recruit Officers, the DOC ceremony will acknowledge the appointment of 22 managers, two civilians (a deputy commissioner and an assistant deputy commissioner) and 20 uniform mangers: one warden, one deputy warden in command, two deputy wardens and 16 assistant deputy wardens.