For Dana Gallo and the 10 other graduates from the 25th Basic Course for County Corrections Officers, graduation day was bitter sweet. They officially became corrections officers and a few days prior to that officially received notice they might not have a job as part of the county layoff plan. “It’s been tough considering the circumstances, but hopefully this will pass and we will start our careers as corrections officers,” said Gallo, as she proudly held onto her diploma, that her grandmother Pat Springer, a retired corrections officer of 25 years gave her.
Eleven men and women graduated from the Monmouth County Police Academy on March 17, 2009 in Freehold. They completed an intensive eleven-week curriculum that prepares them for careers as corrections professionals. To date, 441 Corrections Officers have completed the Basic Course for Corrections Officers at the Monmouth County Police Academy. “A jail is a city within a city and corrections officers are the police force of that city,” said Undersheriff Ted Freeman, of the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, who gave the graduation address. “It takes a special person to spend a career in corrections where your strength is mental as well as physical, where your attitude is paramount to your survival.”
Training for the Basic Course for Corrections Officers is coordinated by Sergeant Wayne Olsen of the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office Corrections Division.
Special awards at the graduation were presented to Patrick J. McCaffrey Jr. for Academics, Michael A. Pecoraro for Marksmanship, Frank Oliva for Physical Fitness and Joseph J. Antunez for Merit.
At the end of the ceremony the graduates were left with strong advice that might mean even more to them during these times of economic uncertainty. “Commencement means beginning. As you commence your future, I ask you to apply one word, a word that can make the difference between success and failure in any taking,” said Undersheriff Freeman, “That word is enthusiasm.”
Graduates of the 25th Basic Course for County Corrections Officers were Joseph J. Antunez, Dana L. Gallo, Latonya C. Johnson, Patrick J. McCaffrey Jr., Brian M. McMenemy, Frank Oliva, III, Bryan L. Patterson, Michael A. Pecoraro, Christopher J. Rooney, Jeffrey M. Simon & Joseph M. Yellen Jr.
For more information contact Undersheriff Cynthia Scott at (732) 577-6613.