Residents in Ontario, Wayne, Yates and Seneca counties have reason to rest a bit easier tonight.
After 30 weeks of intensive training, 24 newly certified law enforcement officers from four counties and four cities, villages and hamlets will hit the streets, equipped better than ever to protect and serve.
Monday was graduation day for students of the 2018 Finger Lakes Law Enforcement Academy Basic Training School, with a ceremony held at Canandaigua Academy.
Twenty-eight men and women began the rigorous training curriculum on Feb. 12, with 24 crossing the finish line. They represented sheriff’s departments in Ontario, Seneca, Wayne and Yates counties, and police departments in Geneva, Penn Yan, Seneca Falls and Waterloo.
Jay Bucklin of the Geneva Police Department earned top honors in the areas of defensive tactics, academic achievement, sharpshooting and highest overall achievement, as well as being voted valedictorian of his class by his classmates.
“The experience has been great,” said Bucklin. “It started out very tough the first couple of weeks, but after that we got in the groove and settled in. It was difficult, but in the end everything was worth it. I had an awesome time. We came in as individuals but left as a family.”
Over the 30-week training period, law enforcement officers dug deep into skills such as driving, defensive tactics and negotiation, medical emergency service, marksmanship, physical fitness and academics.