New recruits graduate from Division of Sheriffs Training Academy

(Jim Hughes/WPRI)

JOHNSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — The recruits of the 2017 Rhode Island Division of Sheriff’s Training Academy graduated Tuesday night.

As they took their next step in public service, 20 men and one woman stood in front of family and friends at Johnston High School for their graduation ceremony.

“I was very nervous on the first day,” said recruit Ashley Coutu. “But after that, I got all my nervous jitters out and got the ball rolling.”

Coutu was the only female graduate of the group. The class of recruits chose “pain is temporary, pride is forever” as their motto.

“You do your pushups, you do your flutter kicks. But what you take away from this academy is going to last forever, and that’s the pride,” said recruit Nicodemus Manzotti. “The pride you have in yourself and your classmates.”

Eyewitness News caught up with Rhode Island State Police Superintendent Colonel Ann Assumpico after the graduation.

In 2014, Target 12 reported on a shortage in the number of deputy sheriffs in the state, which was causing regular delays for court hearings. As we reported, in January 2014 there were 162 courthouse officers. Colonel Assumpico now says with these 21 new recruits, the state has 175 courthouse officers.

“I wouldn’t call it a shortage. I would say we’re in good shape right now. But, we have to do the best we can with the budget that we have,” Colonel Assumpico said.

Colonel Assumpico says they hope to start some of the graduates in their new roles in January.