RAHWAY, NJ - The Union County Sheriff’s Office Youth Academy held their graduation ceremonies last night at the  Rahway High School Performing Arts Center.

Before a large crowd of family, supporters, and members of the law enforcement community approximately 75 teens took part in the graduation ceremony.  The Program Coordinator, Sergeant Tara Halpin from the Union County Sheriff’s Office presided over the ceremony.

Union County Sheriff Joe Cryan addressed the graduates and the gathered supporters.  He congratulated the graduates and thanked the families of the graduates for their support. 

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Sheriff Cryan stated: “Although this is the Union County Sheriff’s Youth Academy, this academy wouldn’t be as successful as it is without the continued cooperation and support of the Union County Board of Chosen freeholders, the Elizabeth Police Department, the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, the Union County Department of Corrections, and the John H. Stamler Police Academy.”

Following the Sheriff, several awards were presented by the lead Physical Training Instructor, Officer Kenny Gerhart of the Sheriff’s Office.  After the awards, the students were presented by Officer Anthony Chodan of the Elizabeth Police Department to receive their Certificates of Completion from Sheriff Cryan and Sgt. Halpin.  Sgt. Halpin gave the closing remarks. She commented: “The student’s growth from the first day of the academy to the last day was quite noticeable, and I feel a great sense of pride in that.”

 The evening concluded with several group photos and refreshments.

The Union County Sheriff’s Youth Academy is a program offered by the Sheriff for middle and high school students who have an interest in Law Enforcement.   Approximately 100 students took part. The curriculum includes physical training, hands on learning, demonstrations from specialized units such as the SWAT Team, K-9, Federal Agencies and the State Police Aviation Unit.