UNION, NJ – A graduation ceremony for recruits of the 2019 Junior Police Academy was held Friday evening with family, friends and township officials.

“This program started with the purpose of having the recruits see what police officers do on a daily basis,” said program coordinator Police Office Mike Loguidice.  “But, more importantly, it was put in place to help build a bridge between the children of the community and the members of the Union Police Department.” 

Loguidice said during the week recruits learned about many topics including basic police investigations, crime scene processing -- including fingerprinting, ground casting and underwater evidence collecting -- how to perform motor vehicle stops, how K-9 officers and their partners operate and how SWAT and bomb squads respond to serious situations, basic life savings skills and how medical helicopters respond to a scene. 

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“This is such a great program,” said Deputy Mayor and Police Commissioner Joseph Florio.  “I thank our police officers who go out every day and worked so hard on putting this program together.”

“How exciting is it when the youngsters came home and talk about their day?”, asked Senator Joe Cryan of the recruits’ parents. To the recruits, he asked,  “How many of you met at least two people this week that you didn’t know?  Did you learn something about each other?  You also learned the important work of police officers and what makes these officers so special.  You had an opportunity to grow and learn.”

Special awards were presented to the following:

  • Basketball Free Throw Champion:  Joseph Brown
  • Physical Fitness Award:  Zidane Yanez
  • Physical Fitness Award:  Jade Pierre
  • Most Inquisitive Award:  David Cerdas
  • Most Improved Physical Fitness Award:  Victoria Dudzic
  • Drill and Ceremony Award:  Samuel Seara

Graduating from the Union 2019 Junior Police Academy were:

Yellow Team:

  • Natalia Castano
  • Victoria Dudzic
  • Daniella Harlley
  • Stephen Laborde
  • Jade Pierre
  • Natalia Pinero
  • Glennard Santos
  • Samuel Seara
  • Henry Solares
  • Roosevelt Sterling

Green Team:

  • Mikhailey Gaston
  • Gavin Goncalves
  • Gianna Manderichio
  • Joshua Moore
  • Cristina Moreira
  • Elvin Teixeira
  • Kauri Townes
  • Na’sir Walker
  • Zidane Yanez
  • Leo Yang

Orange Team:

  • Tyler Bracht
  • Joseph Brown
  • Crystalyn Cabural
  • Madisyn Glover
  • Daniel Harlley
  • Bailey Land
  • Julia Laverty
  • Ava Soares
  • Adrian Soler
  • Aiden Viaud

Blue Team:

  • John Bettinger
  • David Cerdas
  • Lurdes Dacosta
  • Michael Esquivel
  • Malayna Grilo
  • Enzo Madrini
  • Yoselyn Mazariego
  • Mia Menendez
  • Quinn Powers
  • Yaritza Yascaribay


Editor's Note:  In the interest of transparency, TAPinto Union's owner/publisher, Kathy Cryan, is married to State Senator Joe Cryan.