Jul 30, 2014
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Milford Police Academy Graduation

Milford, Cheshire, Fairfield and Monroe officers were sworn in.

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After 29 weeks of training, 14 graduates are ready to serve our towns.

The Friday night ceremony at the Parsons Government Center began with a procession of the Milford Police Honor Guard Graduates and Pipes & Drum followed by the presentation of the graduating class by Officer Donald C. McCollum.

Chief Keith L. Mello showed his pride for the graduates during his speech.

"Twenty-nine weeks of classroom academics is equivalent to two years of full- time college," he said.

Mello addressed the graduates as he spoke in the Veterans Memorial Auditorium.

"You've been tested mentally and physically, but the real test comes when you are behind the badge. In many respects, you are the face of our community," the chief said.

Mello also took the time to acknowledge the other towns' police chiefs in attendance:  Monroe Chief John L Salvatore, Cheshire Chief Neil Dryfe, and Fairfield Chief Gary MacNamara.

Also noted were Milford Mayor James Richetelli Jr., State's Attorney Kevin D. Lawlor, members of the Milford Board Of Aldermen, members of the Milford Citizens Police Academy, and the Boy and Girl Scouts, who were all were in attendance to honor the graduates.

During his speech, Lawlor advised the graduates, "You have chosen service over self.

"Use your authority cautiously and wisely and remember there is never a wrong time to do the right thing."

Mello presented the officers with their diplomas. Badges were pinned on.

Milford Police graduates are: Emily Covelli, Maria Frey, Luke Holder, Colin Lacey, Alfred Mauro III, Edward O'Keefe, Jr., Sean Owens, Joseph Sikorsky and Thomas Wardowski.

There was one . There were three Fairfield graduates: Michael Clark, Jason Kline and Michael Stahl, Jr. The one graduate for .

Awards were handed out to graduates who excelled in certain areas.

A special slideshow presentation was shown in memory of Daniel Scott Wasson, an officer who was killed in the line of duty in 1987. His brother, Ray Wasson, was on stage to present the Officer Daniel Scott Wasson Memorial Award to Holder.

The audience got a glimpse of the Police Academy through pictures and video of training exercises.

The graduating class presented Mello with a plaque as he beamed with pride.

The Rev. James J. Cronin of finished the ceremony with a prayer.

According to the Milford Police Department spokesperson, Officer Jeffrey Nielsen,  the City Of Milford now has 112 sworn officers. The newly badged officers will have 10 weeks of field training (with another officer) in four different phases, followed by a one-year probationary period.

Newly sworn Frey, 34, said, "I heard great things about the town and community, so Milford was my first choice.

"I was lucky enough to be chosen in the top 10 after passing written, agility, and oral board tests". 

Lacey said, "It's a great area to live in and start a family. I moved to Boston and realized Milford is the perfect place.

"I have always involved myself in volunteering to help others, but becoming  a police officer was my highest goal because I wanted to make a commitment to the community."

Holder, 29, said, "I've always wanted to serve my community and after 9/11, I joined the United States Marine Corps and served two deployments."

He added, "In some respects, (the Police Academy) was tougher than the Marine training and there was a heavy academic load."

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