Margaret Wood admitted Tuesday she was a little scared when she learned her daughter, Rachel Manning, wanted to go into law enforcement.
But she knew her daughter had her heart set on being a New York state trooper.
On Tuesday, the Rotterdam Junction woman became one.
New troopers from the Capital Region:
Ryan H. Bishop, Rotterdam
Christopher Buhler, Rotterdam
Joseph A. Choiniere, Schenectady
Evan S. Doxsee, Schenectady
William W. Fish III, Colonie
Danielle L. Janczak, Albany
Farhan A. Khan, Albany
Jason W. Kemmet, Gloversville
Eric D. Lewicki, Halfmoon
Ryan C. Maestro, Albany
Rachel E. Manning, Rotterdam Junction
Stephen J. Marra, Loudonville
Christopher L. Nations, Altamont
Brian M. Salmon, Mechanicville
Vincent R. Santonja, Albany
Timothy M. Sayles, Latham
Jennifer L. Sennett, Albany
“I’m just very proud of her,” Wood, of Schenectady, said after the New York State Police Academy graduation at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center. “I’m very grateful she’s the girl she is. She’s just a tremendous young woman.”
Manning was one of 180 new state troopers receiving their diplomas after six months of academy training in Albany. It was a ceremony that included Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy and New York State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico, as well as many family members of the new troopers.
The new troopers came from all around the state and now will fan out back across the state, joining their new troops. Troop G, which covers the Capital Region, is getting 14 of the new troopers, including Manning.
More than a dozen other Capital Region residents graduated from the academy Tuesday. The graduating class was the state police academy’s 200th.
The lieutenant governor stressed to the new troopers the importance of performance, integrity and pride in what they do. He spoke also as a former member of law enforcement himself, having served in the Rochester Police Department, starting as an officer and rising to become chief.
With their new career as troopers, Duffy said, comes the public trust.
“The public trust is sacred, and you represent that public trust,” he told them. “You are on the street every single day, representing this state, representing the
governor, representing law enforcement. That’s a responsibility that you should never forget.”
In his address, D’Amico spoke of the many challenges law enforcement personnel face, challenges their academy training have prepared the new troopers to face.
“Your training and learning, however, are far from over,” D’Amico told them. “Commit yourselves to the idea of continuous training, improvement and learning.”
He also addressed the troopers’ families, thanking them for everything they have done to get the new troopers where they were Tuesday and for everything they will do in the years ahead.
“To all those families, I say thank you to all of you, and also welcome, because you’ve also become a member of the state police family.”
New Trooper William W. Fish III of Colonie thanked his family afterward for everything they’ve done, especially his wife, Kristi. While Fish was in the academy, he said his wife was able to handle everything at home. They have three daughters, and twins on the way.
“I couldn’t do this without my family, their support,” he said. “My wife has been great through this whole thing.”
Now that he’s completed the academy, Fish said he has a big sense of pride.
“I’ve always liked helping people,” Fish said of why he wanted to be a trooper. “Having kids myself and knowing the kind of world they’re going to grow up in, I’d like to be able to take part in keeping them safe and everybody else safe.”
The new troopers are to begin their field training Monday and will be supervised for 10 weeks by senior field training officers.
Timothy M. Sayles of Latham said a desire to help people drove him to be a trooper. Being a trooper, he believed, was the best way to do that.
“I thought it was a great experience,” he said of the academy. “I’m glad to be done. I can’t wait to hit the road and make a difference.”
Sayles’ father, Tim, of Poughkeepsie, was among the family members to watch the new trooper walk across the stage to get his diploma.
“Words can’t describe it,” the elder Sayles said. “I’m just overjoyed. It’s a very proud moment. It brings tears to my eyes.”
Trooper Manning said she was just excited to be done. Perhaps the hardest part, she said, was getting up at 5 a.m. for physical training each morning.
“It’s been a long six months,” she said, “but it’s well worth it.”