NU ceremony honors law enforcement grads

FBI special agent offers advice to Niagara Country Law Enforcement Academy graduates

By Rick Pfeiffer rick.pfeiffer@niagara-gazette.com May 11, 2017

LEWISTON — In a time of what seem like impossible challenges for law enforcement, FBI Special Agent Jonathan Lacey told the 64th graduating class of the Niagara Country Law Enforcement Academy that he saw only promise, potential and possibilities for them.

The keynote speaker at ceremonies late Wednesday afternoon at the Castellani Art Museum on the Niagara University campus, Lacey said that as a veteran of the FBI of more than 20 years speaking to the police recruits led him to reflect on his own beginnings in law enforcement.

“We were faced with circumstances that could have dampened our enthusiasm,” Lacey told the 14-member academy class. “Every generation of law enforcement starts with what seems like insurmountable circumstances.”

But Lacey told the grads to be optimistic because every generation of law enforcement starts out better trained and better prepared and that is where the “promise” comes from.

Lacey also told the rookie cops that they should be thankful and vigilant.
“Be thankful for the responsibility entrusted to you,” the FBI agent said. “Be vigilant, keep watch over the citizens you are sworn to protect. And balance your safety, with the need to be compassionate public servants.”

Lacey warned that on the street, the grads will see more of the worst and darkest elements of society than anyone else. He urged them to not let that darkness overtake them.
“Be connected to your community,” Lacey counseled. “Stay connected with something positive.”

Of the 14 graduates, two will immediately join the ranks of local law enforcement. Aaron Coney is the newest deputy at the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office.
Darren DeSants will be the newest cop on the beat in Niagara Falls.

“Your work is not simply work,” Niagara University President the Rev. James Maher said. “Your work is a calling.
Class President Marissa Bonito reminded her classmates about how they grew from a group of individuals into a team.

“Teamwork got us through,” she reminded the grads. “Trust in your training and never stop training.”