The turnout was positive as hundreds of law enforcement and their supporters showed up at the Niagara Falls High School to cheer on the seven graduates of the Niagara County Law Enforcement Academy.

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People lined the sidewalks as the graduates walked past for the ceremony.

“Incredible,” said Gwendolyn Schuler, a graduate, and now deputy with the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office. “We really appreciate the huge support coming from everyone.”

During their training there's been a pandemic, a presidential election and most notably for the recruits calls for law enforcement reform.

Speaking at the ceremony, Colin King, a graduate and now a Lewiston Police Officer, spoke about why he chose a career in law enforcement.

“My time in the military, I'd worked with a lot of guys who were cops on the outside, and just kind of saw the lives that they led, and the people they help,” said King.

This was the 75th graduation of the Niagara County Law Enforcement Academy.

Photo Credit: WKBW-TV
Photo Credit: WKBW-TV

According to WKBW-TV there was some controversy surrounding the location,for this year's graduation ceremony that’s usually held on the Niagara University campus. Rumors spread that Niagara University had asked the academy to move ceremony due to fear of protests, however a University representative said it was because of a scheduling issue caused by the pandemic.

I was honored to be asked by Niagara County Sheriff Mike Filicetti to emcee the event.

Despite masks, and social distancing, the crowd as well as the speakers, including area law enforcement officials were eager to see and hear from the graduates and to celebrate the beginning of their careers in public service.

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