Patrick Colligan, President
On Jan. 17, NJ State PBA President Pat Colligan gave the keynote address at the graduation of the Cape May County Police Academy 41st Basic Course for Police Officers. Here are some excerpts from that address:
The NJ State PBA publishes New Jersey Cops Magazine and the director was kind enough to allow NJ Cops complete access from the very first day that these recruits arrived in August until their graduation today. It was an honor and a privilege to follow these recruits. The police academy provides extraordinary training for these recruits, and they are well prepared for policing in 2017 and beyond. The training will prepare them for just about anything that they will encounter.
What I would like to tell you first, in the audience, is what the Academy has done for you. I don’t think the officers are going to want us to talk about it, but you deserve it after watching them all leave every Sunday or Monday morning. This academy has taught them how to iron. They can make their beds. They learned how to use a washing machine. Unfortunately, it’s only khakis and whites, but I assume you can let them know how to use colors when you get home. Most importantly, they can shower, shave and do all of their other business and get out of the bathroom in 30 seconds. That’s what the academy has done for you.
Things have changed slightly since I graduated from a similar academy in 1992. Most of these recruits hadn’t been born yet. Yahoo was something you said when you were excited. Gas was $1.05 and you paid the toll on the Parkway with something called a token. So we can agree that times have changed since 1992. The technology has certainly changed, and much of the police training has changed. But the core principles of policing have not.
The members of the very first municipal police department from Boston reported for duty in 1838, as these officers are responding in 2017. What has not changed, and will never change, are the core values of law enforcement: professionalism, compassion, respect, integrity and dedication. Whether you respond on horseback or in a car, whether you respond with a lantern or a flashlight, the call was answered the same way in 1838 as it was in 1992, and will be tomorrow for some of you.
You will respond with professionalism, compassion, respect, integrity and dedication. Bring those values to every call. Treat every victim and even every suspect like you would want your family to be treated. And you will enjoy a very long, healthy and rewarding career. The technology may be vastly different 25 or 30 years from now. The training will change. But those core values will remain exactly the same – I guarantee it.
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