From left to right: Undersheriff John Ball; Academy graduates: Officer Michael Sanders of Munnsville, Officer Eric Lapier of Oneida, Officer Timothy Janczuk of Hamilton, Officer Joseph Excell of Sherburne, and Officer Rachel Edinger of Morrisville; Lieutenant Jon Black and Captain Timothy Flynn. (submitted photo)
A graduation ceremony held on Wednesday, May 10, marked the successful completion of the Oneida County Correction Officer Basic Academy, conducted at Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica.
The new officers are: Officer Michael Sanders of Munnsville; Officer Eric Lapier of Oneida; Officer Timothy Janczuk of Hamilton; Officer Joseph Excell of Sherburne, and Officer Rachel Edinger of Morrisville.
Successful completion of the seven-week course of study is a state requirement in the first year of employment as a correction officer and includes intensive training in areas such as: physical training, defensive tactics, firearm, suicide prevention, hostage survival techniques, use of force, chemical agents, first aid, CPR, legal issues and report writing. The academy, a highly successful joint venture between the three sheriff’s, included instructors and students from Oneida, Madison and Herkimer County Sheriff’s Offices.
In addition to the academy, each officer must undergo four weeks of field training in the Madison County jail, then pass a comprehensive administrative review, prior to being allowed to work independently.
Madison County Sheriff Allen Riley commended the new officers on this milestone. Riley also noted the timing of this graduation during National Correctional Officers Week, designated in May 1984 by President Ronald Reagan. In the presidential proclamation, President Reagan stated “Historically, correctional officers have been viewed as ‘guards,’ occupying isolated and misunderstood positions in prisons and jails. In recent years, the duties of these officers have become increasingly complex and demanding. They are called upon to fill, simultaneously, custodial, supervisory and counseling roles. The professionalism, dedication and courage exhibited by these officers throughout the performance of these demanding and often conflicting roles deserve our utmost respect. The important work of correctional Officers often does not receive the recognition from the public it deserves. It is appropriate that we honor the many contributions and accomplishments of these men and women who are a vital component of the field of corrections.”
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.