Karen Gailor knew the day was coming when her son would become a police officer.
When Michael V. Gailor finally took the oath on Tuesday, his mother was proud. “He’s been telling me that since he was a little boy,” Gailor said of her son’s goal of becoming a police officer.
“I knew it was going to happen someday. It just took time.”
Gailor, 27, of Saratoga Springs, was one of five new Schenectady police recruits to be sworn in Tuesday in the rotunda at City Hall.
Each of the five is set to enter the Zone 5 Law Enforcement Training Academy Wednesday for six months of basic training. Then it’s on to 12 weeks of field training with the department.
Four of the five latest recruits list Schenectady as their address.
At least two of them, one of them being Gailor, are the sons of police officers. Gailor’s father, also named Michael Gailor, was an officer for more than 20 years with the Saratoga Springs Police Department.
New recruit Jared M. Jupin, 25, of Schenectady, is also the son of an officer. His father, Andy Jupin, served as a New York state trooper for 39 years.
“He’s a good kid,” Andy Jupin said of his son. “I’m glad he made it. I’m happy for him. This is something he’s wanted for a long time.”
The younger Jupin, 25, previously worked at a restaurant. He acknowledged that police work is a big change from that.
“I can’t see myself sitting behind a desk all day, for one,” Jared Jupin said of his choice of police work. “And I guess the excitement of the job. It’s different every day. I’m excited to get out there and do right.”
Swearing in the new recruits was Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy. Before giving them their oaths, the mayor impressed upon them that he wants them to be viewed as community leaders.
“To obtain that,” McCarthy said, “you have to earn that every day. And there is no position of public employment that has the potential to have a significant positive impact on the lives of people in this community than that of a police officer.”
Public Safety Commissioner Wayne Bennett spoke of the big change in lifestyle the new recruits will encounter upon entering into the academy today.
He also noted that they will undergo challenges in the coming weeks and months. He told them the department is there to support them, and he urged their families to do the same.
“Be prepared for the days when they’re going to get down,” Bennett told the families. “They need you to be a source of encouragement for them because they’ve gone through a very difficult process just to get here today — and they are the best of the best, and we are so pleased to get them.”
Recruit Duane D. Bechand, 34, of Schenectady, enters as a police officer having previously served as a military policeman with the 206 MP Company Army National Guard unit in Latham.
He has worked for the City Mission, helping with the homeless.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, ever since I was a kid,” Bechand said of his new career. “I’ve been in the Army, and I wanted to continue on that tradition of service.”
Jupin said he’s heard stories about the academy, but he’ll face that when he must. “I honestly am just excited to finally get in,” said Jupin, who grew up in Latham. “It’s more of a relief than anything. I’ve been trying to become a police officer for a while now.
“It’s kind of a dream come true,” he added. “I’m just excited.”
The five new recruits and their backgrounds are:
u Duane D. Bechand, 34, of Schenectady. Bechand went to Mohonasen High School and attended Schenectady County Community College, receiving an associate’s degree in business administration.
u Bradley R. Carlton, 24, of Schenectady. Carlton graduated from Mohonasen High School with an advanced Regents diploma. He also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science after attending St. John Fisher College outside of Rochester.
u Michael V. Gailor, 27, currently of Saratoga Springs, a 2003 graduate of Saratoga Springs High School. He has an associate’s degree in applied science in criminal justice.
u Jared M. Jupin, 25, of Schenectady. Jupin is a 2005 graduate of Shaker High School and attended the University at Albany. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology.
u Teodoro Popolizio, 27, of Schenectady, is a 2003 graduate of Niskayuna High School. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education from SUNY Brockport.