By Jasmine Hendricks
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – Camden County College held the graduation for 14 men in the 85th Basic Corrections Recruit Class at 1 p.m. Nov. 15 in the Connector Building of the Blackwood campus.
Family and friends of the soon-to-be corrections officers filled the auditorium. A feeling of joy and happiness was felt in the room as the recruit class marched in. After everyone settled in their seats, Chief Johann Arnold of the Camden County Juvenile Detention Center started the program with a few words.
“You must always maintain your professionalism. You have been given the basic education. Put to good use what you’ve learned, listen to your fellow seasoned officers, remember your six core values, and never compromise your integrity,” Arnold stated.
Next, Dr. Judith Rowlands, dean of arts, humanities and social sciences of Camden County College, addressed the class and wished them the best.
Class Leader Cody McNaughton followed her and explained how the 14-week training was both “difficult and rewarding” and thanked all the instructors who gave their time, “because when you give your time you’re giving a portion of your life that you will never get back.”
Then qualifying officers were awarded for different achievements throughout training, such as Proficiency, Excellence, Physical Conditioning, Honor Graduate, Hero Scholarship, Merit and Warden’s Award. The officers were then presented with their certificates of completion, some of which were given to the recruits by family members who were former or current officers.
Arnold gave the benediction and Sgt. Dimitri Collins gave the closing remarks and ended the ceremony.
“I’m really happy to see him graduate and it was a really nice ceremony,” stated the cousin of one of the graduating trainees.
In addition, the graduating officers will receive 12 credits from Camden County College.
The Police Academy for Corrections ensured the recruits went through the most updated, comprehensive training possible, such as chemical agent training, a 40-hour firearms qualifications course and a “hands-on” defensive tactics course.