ALBANY, NY (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – On June 14th 238 new troopers joined the ranks of the New York State Police at the Empire State Plaza in Albany.
It is the 212th graduating class of the Basic School of the New York State Police Academy, which will send 33 of the 238 to Troop D, stationed in Oneida. That includes 16 from the Mohawk Valley, listed below:
Trooper Sean Banks of Lee Center,
Trooper Joshua Fenton of Utica,
Trooper Kolby Fical of Ilion,
Trooper Kevin Fisher of Rome,
Trooper Jacob Hyer of Whitesboro,
Trooper Anthony LaGatta of Whitesboro,
Trooper Luke Mack of Oneida,
Trooper Charles Mataraza III of Sylvan Beach,
Trooper Matthew Nell of Vernon,
Trooper Matthew Parkinson of Whitesboro,
Trooper Ryan Piccola of Utica,
Trooper Andrew Scalise of Whitesboro,
Trooper Samuel Sill of Rome,
Trooper Matthew Strachen of New Hartford,
Trooper Emily White of Rome.
Two local troopers, Trooper Miguel Vega of Oneonta and Trooper Jacob Wetzel of Hartwick, will be assigned to Troop C, which is stationed in Sidney.
Of those 33 that will be assigned, one Rome native won a prestigious honor from the New York State Police. Trooper Kevin Fisher – who is also a graduate of Mohawk Valley Community College – won the Firearms Proficiency Award. During his training, Fisher scored an average of 250 out of a possible 250 in all aspects. Fisher was also a patrolman with the Rome Police Department for two and a half years.
The winner of the “Academic Achievement Award” is Trooper Michael P. Ziamandanis, a 26-year-old resident of Albany. He is a graduate of SUNY Albany College with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Prior to joining the New York State Police as a trooper, he worked in large scale manufacturing as a biotech production specialist for Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. Throughout the academy training program, he achieved an outstanding overall academic average of 96.95%. He will be assigned to Troop G.
The recipient of the Investigator Joseph T. Aversa Physical Fitness Award is Trooper James P. Hennessy, age 24, who resides in Tappan, New York. He is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. Prior to joining the State Police, he was a police officer with the New York City Police Department for one and a half years. During the physical agility testing, he achieved the highest score of all 238 Members of the 212th Session, a tribute to his superb physical conditioning. He will be assigned to Troop F.
The recipient of the Student Representative award is Trooper Martin V. Szostak, age 31, who resides in Shokan, New York. He is a graduate of SUNY Ulster College with an Associate of Science Degree in Individual Studies. Prior to joining the New York State Police, he worked at New York City Department of Environmental Protection as a detective specialist for six and a half years. He will be assigned to Troop F.
With today’s graduation, the ranks of the New York State Police now grow to almost 5,000 sworn members. The new troopers will report for their first day of field duty on Wednesday, June 21, where they will be evaluated under a field-training program supervised by senior officers.
“After months of intense classwork, vigorous training and perseverance, the 212th Basic School join the ranks of one of the finest police agencies in the world,” Acting New York State Police Superintendent Steven Nigrelli said in a statement. “This graduation is the culmination of six-plus months of hard work, determination, and unwavering commitment. I am honored to congratulate our new members and welcome them to the most prestigious and well-respected law enforcement agency in the nation.”