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3rd ROC graduates

Posted 09/11/20

Members of the 3rd ROC graduateTwenty new police officers took the oath of honor at Fitchburg State University’s third recruit officer course (ROC) graduation exercises on Friday, Sept. 11.

Fitchburg State’s groundbreaking police program, believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, graduates officers in five years with bachelor’s and master’s degrees and certification to serve as municipal police departments in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

The third ROC graduates completed their bachelor’s degrees in May and this summer completed an arduous, 15-week academy including defensive tactics, firearms qualification and emergency vehicle operations. Now they begin their online master’s degree program.

University President Richard S. Lapidus noted most of the graduates already have jobs with area police departments. “This speaks highly of the character and the quality of the students in this program,” he said. “The university is proud of this program and its graduates.”

Municipal Police Training Committee Interim Executive Director Robert J. Ferullo congratulated the new officers on entering a meaningful profession, and encouraged them to be safe and to embrace the changes in their field.

“We need to protect our integrity,” Ferullo said. “Don’t ever tarnish the badge.”

Academy Director Lisa Lane saluted the graduates for their ability to thrive during unique challenges.

“The police academy is a grueling course of training which demands a full physical and mental effort by all who go through it,” she said. “It is stressful, it is demanding. It is not easy under normal circumstances, and these were far from normal circumstances.”

Between the COVID-19 pandemic and national tumult surrounding the police profession, Lane said, new police officers are entering the profession at a unique time.

“Always make sure that you go out there and serve with honor, integrity and pride,” Lane said. “Be a force for good. Be an agent for change. Treat everyone you encounter with dignity, equity and empathy. Be honest with yourself, be self-aware, be self-reflective, and then make any changes that you need to make to be better.”

Class Leader Grant Jensen addressed his classmates at the ceremony.

“Policing right now is in a state where most people are questioning us and asking why we think it’s still worth being a police officer,” Jensen said. “These changes to a profession that we thought we were getting into has not stopped any of us from our end goal of becoming police officers. What I’ve seen from the 3rd ROC is that there is a passion and drive to serve the communities we are going to, that we aren’t just your normal 21- and 22-year-old new college graduates most people believe we are. Instead, we are a group of eager, passionate, and resilient men and women who want to make a difference within our communities we are going to serve. That none of us here are satisfied with being average and that we were always willing to listen and learn to fix our deficiencies.

“Don’t forget how hard you’ve worked to get this opportunity in your life,” Jensen continued. “The badge you wear is to help individuals who need you the most in their time of need. Take pride in what you do and honor in who you serve.”

The members of the third recruit officer course are:

  • Cameron Amaral of Middleboro
  • William Bento of Medfield
  • Michael Brito of Sagamore Beach
  • Shannon Dawson of Hudson
  • Joshua Folmer-LaFleur of Fitchburg
  • Nicholas Girard of Leominster
  • Grant Jensen of Fitchburg
  • Alyssa King of Groton
  • Matthew Krikorian of Groton
  • Sean Malone of Dedham
  • Allison McCann of Westminster
  • Kelly McCusker-Brown of Watertown
  • Cody Normandin of Uxbridge
  • Keegan O’Donnell of Danvers
  • David Pratt of South Hadley
  • Abigail Robinson of Weymouth
  • Courtney Soares of Dartmouth
  • Jared Taje of East Taunton
  • Benjamin Torrence of Bradford
  • Cody Walter of Westminster

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