Families gathered Monday as 21 cadets became the latest graduates of the Great Oaks Police Academy. A number of the men and women, who completed 740 hours of training to reach this point, are already employed. They walked across the stage wearing the police uniforms of the communities they’ll be serving, including Norwood, Hamilton, Green Township, Delhi Township, and others. One member of the class, Taras Volchukov, was formerly a police officer in Ukraine; he completed the Academy in order to continue his career in the United States.
Keynote speaker Colonel Thomas Synan of the Newtown Police Department offered his advice. “Remember with humility that you have been graced to wear this badge,” he said. “To be successful, you must have three things in great quantities: Compassion, resiliency, and the capacity to grieve.” Col. Synan told the graduating class of an encounter 30 years ago in which all members of a family died as a result of drug addiction, and how seeing that happen motivated him to become an internationally known advocate for new approaches to treating addiction.
The graduates were also reminded of their duty. “Each time the world needs people to step up, a few do,” Great Oaks Public Safety Supervisor Paul Hartinger told the group. “Your role is to serve, safeguard and protect, and we appreciate you.”
The graduates and their families watched a video highlighting investigations, precision driving, crime scene processing, and other classes which are part of the training. Then, with hugs and cheers, the 21 men and women left the auditorium to begin serving their communities.
The Great Oaks Police Academy is an Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy (OPOTA) site; a new class begins in August. For more information, go to adults.greatoaks.com or call 513.771.1142.