Grads ready to serve and protect
BY MARC BEJA |
10:42 AM EDT, July 23, 2008
While running the required one and a half miles during his
third week of training, Michael Goropeuschek broke his leg.
His doctors said he would be unable to continue the intense
basic training at the police academy -- he would need to
heal and wait to join the next class of recruits.
Instead, Goropeuschek graduated on time. With honors.
"I went back against my doctor's orders," said a grinning
Goropeuschek of Franklin Square. "I've wanted to be a police
officer pretty much my whole life."
Goropeuschek, a former ambulance medical technician for the
Nassau County Police Department, was one of 46 members of
the January 2008 graduating class from the police academy,
in a ceremony Tuesday at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in
The recruits were selected from a pool of applicants who
took a 2003 civil service test. After six months of basic
training, including academic courses, firearms proficiency
and physical training, the graduates became full-time
employees of Nassau County Tuesday.
Proud parents, spouses, children and other family members
snapped photographs of their loved ones as they paraded down
the aisles in their new uniforms.
"The most important function of government is to protect the
people," Nassau County Comptroller Howard Weitzman told the
graduates during a commencement speech.
"You are police officers all day every day, not just when
you punch in and out like other jobs," Weitzman said. "You
are the backbone of the police department."
Goropeuschek, who was selected by his classmates to speak at
the commencement on behalf of the other graduates, had a
message for his daughter Rhiannon.
"I cannot tell you how many times my eight-year-old daughter
asked me how long until this would all be over," the newly
appointed deputy sheriff said, addressing the crowd.
"Rhiannon, today is the day."