As Prepared for delivery
Commissioner Cynthia Brann
Graduation ceremony remarks
July 31, 2019
Good morning and welcome to all of our DOC staff, law enforcement colleagues, family and friends.
It is both a pleasure and an honor to be here with all of you today to celebrate the accomplishments of Recruit class FY19- 02.
A special note of appreciation to you, Deputy Commissioner Pinnock, your staff in Human Resources and the Applicant Investigation Unit, for bringing in this class of new officers.
A heartfelt thank you to Deputy Commissioner Dail, Warden Windley, Assistant Commissioner Beale, Assistant Deputy Warden Hurtault ( ETU) and all of our amazing academy instructors for ensuring that these officers are well prepared to take on their new role as NYC Correction Officers.
I would also like to extend a warm welcome to our honored guests:
Staff from the 9/11 Memorial and Museum
Please join me in giving them all a round of applause.
Six months ago, 404 people entered the academy, after a grueling application process of an arduous written exam, background checks and physical, medical and psychological testing.
They were full of anticipation and hope, that if they studied, worked hard and met every challenge placed before them by performing at the highest level, they would become a Correction Officer.
The road to get here is a difficult one.
The Academy is NOT easy, nor is it meant to be.
It is meant to prepare you to do the most difficult, often misunderstood and unsung job in law enforcement.
Some did not make it and that’s okay. This career is not for everyone.
I am happy to report that 382 have achieved their goal
And I am proud of and congratulate each and every one of them.
In a few short moments, you will take an oath that will transform you from a recruit, still a regular citizen to a sworn law enforcement officer,
And you will become a member of NYC’s Boldest, an exclusive family of over 10,000 Correction Officers!
You will also be joining an elite cadre of almost half a million colleagues serving in jails and prisons across this country.
The shield you now wear on your chest, is more than a piece of metal.
It represents honor, courage, integrity, compassion and respect.
It demands that you adhere to the ideals and the words of the oath you will take.
Its expectation of you, is not time limited by your scheduled tour of duty.
It represents a way of life and is a reflection of who you are.
You have volunteered to do this job – to join a noble profession and dedicate your life to public safety and service to others.
EVERYTHING you do and say will be judged more harshly.
Society will hold you to a higher standard of conduct because of the trust they have bestowed upon you.
Many may ask, IS that FAIR?
The public has great expectations of its law enforcement officers and
Has placed its faith in us to carry out our duties within the highest professional standards,
To ALWAYS behave in ways that are above reproach both on and off duty
Today, your shields are shiny….
You are trained and ready
Do not dull the shine of that shield,
Do not tarnish your name or reputation through your deeds
Do not let the influence of others, determine your course of action
Because this agency, your colleagues and your family are all depending on you.
Let me share a bit of the wisdom of Benjamin Franklin with this following quote:
“Glass, china and reputation are easily cracked and never well mended.”
I want to turn to the family, friends and loved ones of these new officers for a moment
Your lives are about to change in ways you can not anticipate.
You will spend more time without your loved one, on traditional weekends, holidays and family events.
You won’t always be confident they will be home after their scheduled tour, because they are needed to fill a post.
You may lose friends or be “uninvited” to social events
If or when that happens, remember, that is NOT a reflection of you- it is a reflection of them.
We recognize that you are making a sacrifice in the name of public service as well.
Your sacrifice is silent and unseen – but certainly not unappreciated by those of us who serve.
I guarantee there will be challenging times ahead.
My advice to you is to support each other, talk things through,
Do not become isolated because YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
You are ALSO part of the DOC family now.
Without your support, they cannot do what they have been called and trained to do.
You are OUR unsung heroes and we thank you.
Recruits, Congratulations again on your graduation and becoming a Correction Officer.
I welcome you as you become one of the DOC’s Boldest.
I wish you all a long, healthy, safe and successful career.
I would now like to introduce our First Deputy Mayor, Dean Fuleihan and invite him to the podium.