Submitted by the office of Middlesex County Sheriff Peter Koutoujian
Twenty-four new corrections officers graduated from the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office Basic Training Academy in a ceremony held Friday, December 2, 2016 at Stoneham Town Hall.
Bedford Police Chief Robert Bongiorno offered the keynote address. “Have empathy and compassion for the people you serve,” urged the Chief. “Law enforcement officers neither make nor interpret the law. We uphold it. Never lose sight of the power bestowed upon you by the people of the Commonwealth!”
Sheriff Koutoujian told graduates, “Today you are joining an office that that is on the cutting edge of public safety. One that is being recognized not just in Middlesex County, or in Massachusetts, but nationwide,” citing efforts to support incarcerated Veterans, and those suffering from mental health and substance use disorders. “This is our Middlesex Sheriff’s Office and today it becomes your Middlesex Sheriff’s Office.”
In addition to Sheriff Koutoujian, graduates also heard welcoming remarks from Stoneham Town Administrator Thomas Younger, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and State Representative Paul Brodeur (D- Melrose), as well as Stoneham Police and Fire Chiefs James McIntyre and Matt Grafton who attended the ceremony.
Friday’s graduates received 12 weeks of classroom and practical training focused on interpersonal communications, corrections and criminal justice systems, transportation procedures, defensive tactics, firearms and first responder training, among other areas. Graduates had to successfully pass classroom, physical fitness and firearms tests, and participate in on the job training.
The graduation marked the sixth during Sheriff Koutoujian’s six-year tenure, with over 220 academy-trained officers joining the ranks of the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office in that time. Prior to Sheriff Koutoujian taking office in 2011, the last academy was held in 2008.