The process began in March when 370 people expressed intentions to join the Rhode Island Department of Sheriffs.
That often-grueling journey, which included a rigorous seven-week recruit training academy, concluded Friday night at CCRI’s jam-packed Bobby Hackett Theater with the graduation of 17 Rhode Island deputy sheriffs.
On a night that began with retired Providence Police patrolman David Morgan playing the bagpipes and leading the Division of Sheriff’s polished color guard into the theater, an appreciative audience witnessed the pomp and circumstance, military-like gradation that Chief Sheriff David M. DeCesare explained “brings the division close to its maximum authorized strength of 181 members.”
“The Rhode Island Division of Sheriffs,” DeCesare began “is responsible for the custody, safety and well-being of prisoners and defendants while being transported to and from the courts and other facilities, and to effect a comprehensive program of judicial security in the courts and other buildings.’
Likewise, Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Neronha and RI State Police Lt. Col. Kevin M. Barry echoed similar sentiments.
“You have embarked an important mission,” Neronha said. “Today’s law enforcement is much, much harder than it was 25 years ago. I encourage you to serve with compassion and integrity at all times. This is a proud moment for you and your families; continue to be the best you can be – at all times – on and off the job.”
Barry, who is also Deputy Superintendent of the RI State Police, offered, “Congratulations! Your journey began with 370 people and now there are just 17, a select group that completed a demanding academy and required you to be your best. Continue that trend on and off the job.”
While the Class of 2019 had a special emphasis on youth, the night also featured Olivia Picard, a student at the Burrillville Middle School, beginning the night with a beautiful and powerful rendition of the National Anthem.
“All I can say is wow!” exclaimed Department of Sheriffs Major Paul M. Martellini amid the thunderous round of applause that followed Picard’s singing of the Star Spangled Banner. “With that, I welcome to tonight’s Recruit Training Academy Graduation.”
The night’s program, which ceremoniously yet impressively along during the next 90 minutes, was as DeCesare and others concurred enhanced by Rev. Chris Abhulime, Pastor of Johnston-based King’s Tabernacle Church, who delivered the Invocation and Benediction.
In the middle of the program, as he was during the seven-week training academy, was Sheriff Commander/Captain Jason D. Allaire, a 25-year veteran of the department, who introduced the 17 new deputy sheriffs who received certificates from DeCesare and Neronha ad well-wishes from Barry and Martellini.
Allaire, who along with Martellini headed the 17-member training academy staff, announced the five major individual award winners. They are Bryan T. Boden, Physical Fitness; Jeffrey M. St. Jean, Physical Fitness; Samuel D. Kershaw, Firearms; Francisco A. Picon, Leadership and John D. Dubois, Class Valedictorian.
“Always be on you’re A-game,” was the message Dubois gave to his classmates after presented DeCesare with the class gift.
Meanwhile, Allaire also explained the 17 new deputy sheriffs attended the training academy after doing their daily jobs and that that required untiring support and in some cases sacrifices from family members for each and every recruit.
The program also featured recognition and acknowledgements of recent promotions with in the Division of Sheriffs. They were: Capt. Christopher J. Reilly, Acting Lt. Karen E. Dellinger, Sgt. Michael Delima and Sgt. Christopher S. Ogren.
Finally, as Allaire introduced “The Class of 2019” that statement was followed by a long-lasting standing ovation and applause, the Training Academy Graduates are: Nicholas G. Bevilacqua, Bryan T. Boden, Christopher Bolanos, Jaisn I. Cole, Henry C. Cunningham, IV, Ryan P. Dorrance, John D. Dubois, Jared J. Estella, Samuel D. Kershaw, Michael G. Macera, Stephen D. Nardolillo, Kelsy C. Ogando Reyes, Alyssa M. Pearce, John A. Pena, Francisco A. Picon, Christopher Rivas and Jeffrey M. St. Jean.