New Schenectady cops sworn in on ‘proud day’
Mayor welcomes recruits, praises ‘younger, smarter’ police force
SCHENECTADY Three Schenectady Police Department recruits raised their right hands to be sworn in by Mayor Gary McCarthy at Schenectady City Hall on Monday.
On Wednesday, the recruits, Patrick A. Irwin, 26, Patrick J. Verret, 29, and Kyle D. Willetts, 24, will head to the Zone 5 Law Enforcement Training Academy to begin six months of basic training. After that, they’ll get 12 weeks of supervised field training.
“You will come out of there stronger,” McCarthy said to the recruits during the swearing-in. “More comprehensive in terms of your ability to deal with problems and deliver the services this city needs and wants.”
According to McCarthy, hundreds of applications came in for the positions. The three recruits were chosen for a variety of reasons, including scores on their civil service exams and performing high on other areas of the review.
“It is a proud day, significant day,” he said. “We have a much younger staff. … They are younger, they are smarter, they work harder.”
Willetts’ brother is already a Schenectady officer. The recruit is a 2006 graduate of Lansingburgh High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at Norwich University in Vermont.
“This is what I really wanted to do,” Willetts said, just moments after taking his oath and being embraced by family members. “I am really excited to have the opportunity.”
Willetts’ family was also excited.
Darlene Vechand, Willetts’ aunt, was there to see him sworn in.
“Very proud of him. Very happy for him,” she said.
All three recruits currently reside in Schenectady.
Irwin graduated from Avon Old Farms High School and received a bachelor’s degree in history from Union College.
Verret was home-schooled for high school and earned a Certificate of High School Equivalency. He received an associate degree in criminal justice with honors from Schenectady County Community College. He also attended the University at Albany from 2003 to 2004.
With children in tow, Verret’s wife, Misty, was all smiles at the swearing-in.
“I am excited,” she said. “I am very proud of him.”
According to McCarthy, the standards for police officers in the recruitment process over the past three years have dramatically changed.
“There is a much more in-depth background [check] that is done and reviewing to make sure that they will be able to perform to the highest standards as a police officer in the city,” he said.
“We are glad to have them on board,” he said.