Paxton – Worcester County Sheriff Lewis G. Evangelidis has announced the graduation of Basic Recruit Training Academy #49. The most recent academy class, comprised of 14 new correctional officers, includes four members who are military or still-serving reservists in the United States Army, U.S. Marine Corp and Army National Guard. The graduation ceremony was held on May 25 at Anna Maria College in Paxton.
Among the graduating class of new correctional officers is Westborough resident Officer Jesse Girouard, who is also a current service member of the United States Army.
During his tenure, Evangelidis has made significant changes to the hiring standards in order to professionalize the department. All correctional officer applicants must have, at minimum, an associate’s degree or at least two years of military service. They must also take and pass a written exam, physical fitness test, background check and psychological screening test. United States military applicants are given priority status in the hiring process.
“As we continue to build a strong department dedicated to serving our community, our new officers have met the highest hiring standards in corrections today and have completed the finest training academy in Massachusetts,” said Evangelidis.
“Corrections is a serious business, with almost 90 percent of our inmate population incarcerated due to addiction issues our primary responsibility is to serve and protect the citizens of Worcester County. To do that effectively we must work daily with our inmate population so they are less likely to reoffend upon their release,” Evangelidis said. “I am proud to welcome our latest graduating class of fourteen new correctional officers who have met the challenges presented to them over the last twelve weeks. With many of our new officers having served their country and all of them committed to mission of public safety, they will surely make us a better department.”
During the formal graduation ceremony, among the traditions that were observed was as a badge-pinning where the new officers were “pinned” into their new profession by a family member.