POUGHKEEPSIE – A swearing in ceremony at City Hall Friday afternoon increased the City of Poughkeepsie police department to 91 active officers.
The ceremony was officiated by Mayor Rob Rolison and the swearing in was facilitated by City Chamberlain Deanne Flynn, as Police Chief Thomas Pape and family members of the five new recruits looked on.
“You know, I got sworn in in 1982”, reflected Mayor Rolison a former Town of Poughkeepsie Police Officer. “I was so excited, but that’s part of the draw of the job; you’re making a difference.”
Two of the officers are coming to the department by way of the Dutchess County Department of Corrections. Adam Aquafredda spent five years at the DOC, Jerel Yizar had two years in the department before moving over.
“My uncle was part of the Port Chester police department and I think hearing stories and watching him do his job is what inspired me to choose this profession”, said Yizar, a Wappingers resident and former Ketcham football standout.
Aquafredda’s wife, Joanna, expressed her sense of pride but also a nervousness about her husband’s decision. “That was one of the discussion’s we had when the opportunity arose and it’s what he wanted so I’m here to support him whole heatedly .”
“I want to help a protect and serve my community”, said Aquafredda, “I grew up here and for me it’s an honor to do that.”
Katelyn Casey, the only female at today’s swearing in, is a former soccer standout at John Jay high school, and spent her college off time working with Guiding Eyes For The Blind. “I always wanted to be part of law enforcement”, said Casey. “I think I’m a kind and caring person and I want the best for the community and the people that live in it.”
“We look for outstanding people”, said Police Chief Pape. “Each of these five people rose above a class of twenty people as the best of the best. We look for how they did in college, their character, and the choices that they’ve made in their lives.”
The recruits will now face months of training before officially hitting the streets to do what they set out to do.