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March 5, 2014 - 2:19pm

Rural Police Training Academy celebrates 25th graduation class

posted by Billie Owens in GCC, rural police training academy.

Press release:

This Friday, March 7, at 7 p.m., the Rural Police Training Academy will enjoy a double celebration. As the most recent class of 22 graduates receives their completion certificates, the Academy itself recognizes its 25th Silver Anniversary.

Since being established in 1985, a total of 593 graduates including the current 2013-2014 class have completed the Rural Police Training Academy (RPTA) offered by Genesee Community College through the Division of Criminal Justice Services and The BEST (Business and Employee Skills Training) Center.

RPTA has evolved through its long distinguished history, and now the 11-month program provides basic training both to sworn members of police and sheriff agencies as well as training for pre-employed law enforcement officers.

The program requires 639 hours of training and the major curriculum covered includes Justice Administration, New York State Laws, Community Interaction, Mass Casualties and Major Events, Investigations and practical skills such as field note taking, report writing, case preparation, arrest processing, professional traffic stops and firearms training. RPTA offers a GCC college credit option and also veterans opportunities.

The 2013-2014 RPTA graduates include:

  • SWORN OFFICER GRADUATES:Brittany N. Smyder, Caledonia Police Department
  • Aaron M. Ellis, Corfu Police Department
  • Chad R. Brady and James G. Frascati, East Rochester Police Department
  • Joseph D. Loftus, Class Captain, Genesee County Sheriff's Department
  • Andrew M. Carriero, Platoon Leader, and Shane G. Miller of Gowanda Police Department
  • Edwin S. Bower II and Timothy P. Moulton, Holley Police Department
  • Mark A. Bennetti, Platoon Leader, Le Roy Police Department
  • Dylan D. DiPasquale, Mt. Morris Police Department
  • Catherine M. Mucha and Conner T. Sanford, Nunda Police Department
  • Bryant W. Ferry and Kevin T. Green, Perry Police Department


  • Ryan L. Andrews
  • Jason S. Butterbrodt
  • Andrew R. Fisk
  • Joseph J. Renaldo
  • Tyler S. Smith
  • Zachery A Sobieraski, Assistant Class Captain, Platoon Leader
  • Nathaniel P. Staines

Friday's program features a keynote address by Federal Security Director for Greater Rochester International Airport John P. McCaffrey. Other speakers include graduates of the RPTA program -- Batavia Police Chief Shawn Heubusch, and Sheriff Thomas Dougherty and Undersheriff Matthew Bean, both of the Livingston County Sheriff's Department.

The training programs offered by RPTA has assisted law enforcement agencies in numerous counties, including but not limited to Genesee, Livingston, Wyoming, Orleans, Allegheny, Cattaraugus and Monroe counties. Through the years as policing and public protection has grown more complicated, the program expanded to include a broad cross section of criminal justice topics. The focus, however includes the challenges of law enforcement in rural areas where resources can be limited, sending in backup support takes longer and officers usually cover much greater distances.

"Police protection in a rural community compared to a big city is quite different," said Ray Chaya, director of The BEST Center. "The Rural Police Academy was started by chiefs and sheriffs in the GLOW region who wanted a program that was familiar with the challenges faced by rural police. The larger number of miles means backup forces are farther away, and resources can be limited."

Some of GCC's most seasoned faculty and staff have been involved with RPTA since the earliest days. The late Richard (Dick) Tiede, who served as GCC's Public Safety director for nearly three decades, was a graduate of the first class in 1986. Barry Garigen, GCC's professor of Criminal Justice helped found the program in 1985. And Douglas C. Brooks, former assistant director of operations at College Village has been the RPTA director since 1987.

The program has many distinguished graduates with unique backgrounds. Among the graduates have been a father-son and a father-daughter team, at least two sets of brothers, and one married couple. Gowanda Chief of Police Joseph Alessi and his spouse, Detective Jennifer Alessi, are also graduates. In addition, RPTA offers excellent opportunities to veterans and not long ago one application was completed by a soldier in active duty from Iraq.

RPTA tuition is $3,750 not including the special supplies such as uniform and all applicants must meet a physical agility test. The 2014-2015 class begins April 15th and classes meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. and Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through February 2015.

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