SUNY Potsdam Law Enforcement Training Institute Graduates Find Employment

First Graduates from SUNY Potsdam's Law Enforcement Training Institute Already Employed with Police Departments Across Country

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Adam Hoover '18, left, a senior majoring in criminal justice and sociology, works on defensive tactics training with Albert “Sonny” Duquette, during a training session this fall.

POTSDAM, NY (11/14/2017) (readMedia)-- Seven of the nine seniors to complete SUNY Potsdam's new Law Enforcement Training Institute have already found employment with police departments and law enforcement agencies across the country. Within just a few months of graduation, the recent graduates had landed jobs in their field.

"With this new program at SUNY Potsdam, by combining a baccalaureate degree with a state-approved police training program, we want to build a highly trained, community friendly officer to make for a better tomorrow. It's about taking care of the public," said Law Enforcement Training Institute Director Albert "Sonny" Duquette.

The Law Enforcement Training Institute at SUNY Potsdam provides students with the unique opportunity to complete a rigorous pre-employment, state-approved police training as part of their undergraduate curriculum.

The first cohort of 20 cadets graduated from the program in May 2017, having successfully completed Phase 1 of the New York State Municipal Basic Police Training, which includes 52 of the full 56 requirements. Phase 2, which comprises the final four components, can only be completed by recently hired officers.

Of the nine graduating seniors who completed the Law Enforcement Training Institute in its first semester of operation, seven have already found employment in the field within six months of Commencement, and the remaining two graduates are in the processing stages with law enforcement agencies. The remaining students finished the program as juniors and are now completing their baccalaureate studies.

"By having both a bachelor's degree and basic police training on their resumes, our graduates' chances of being hired have now risen very drastically. And not every cadet is looking to use this training just for police work. We have some using it in hopes of getting into corrections, border patrol, customs and immigration, the forest service, the FBI and the mental health field, to name a few," Duquette said.

The following SUNY Potsdam Law Enforcement Training Institute graduates have been hired at departments and agencies across the country:

  • Corwin Chrisman '17 was hired by the village police departments in both Lowville and Antwerp, N.Y.
  • Sara Livecchi '17 was hired by the Raleigh City Police Department in Raleigh, N.C.
  • Shawn Pulver '17 was hired as an armored vehicle guard in Rochester N.Y., while he waits for the results of the New York State Police exam, which he recently took.
  • Joshua Rosen '17 was hired by the Gwinnett County Police Department in Lawrenceville, Ga.
  • Kelly Schmidt '17 was hired by the Burlington City Police in Burlington, Vt.
  • William Vlad '17 was hired by the New York Police Department in New York City.
  • Angela Yodis '17 was hired by the Schenectady Police Department in Schenectady, N.Y.

The Law Enforcement Training Institute is a joint initiative of the SUNY Potsdam Center for Applied Learning, the Department of Sociology and University Police.

In addition to instruction from Duquette, who is himself a retired police detective sergeant, the SUNY Potsdam Law Enforcement Training Institute draws on expert instructors from agencies across the region and state. Officers from Rochester, Buffalo, Syracuse, Albany and Ogdensburg, as well as from New York State Police, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the St. Lawrence County and Jefferson County Sheriff's Departments and the Fort Drum Military Police assisted in teaching the first class of cadets.

In addition, St. Lawrence County Coroner June Wood and licensed Emergency Medical Technician Torey Russell also led sessions. Recently retired Sheriff's Senior Detective Sgt. Gus Burns was the guest lecturer for two days, fresh off his trip from the White House, where he had been honored for his investigation into the abduction of two local Amish girls.

As a New York State-accredited policy academy, the Law Enforcement Training Institute offers instruction in defensive tactics, emergency medical services, emergency vehicle operation, applying field sobriety tests, processing crime scenes and a plethora of other training topics.

The Law Enforcement Training Institute has a maximum availability of 30 students per cohort, and top priority for acceptance is given to SUNY Potsdam criminal justice students. For any remaining slots, the institute is also open to SUNY Potsdam students completing different areas of study. Community members or students from other institutions may contact the Office of Transfer Admissions to discuss their eligibility for the program, by visiting

In order to be eligible for the SUNY Potsdam Law Enforcement Training Institute, candidates must be a junior or senior in their undergraduate studies, have a minimum of a 2.5 grade point average and possess a driver's license.

The SUNY Potsdam Criminal Justice Studies Program provides a broad interdisciplinary liberal arts orientation, with course requirements in philosophy, politics and sociology, and the opportunity for students to elect to study courses in anthropology, chemistry and psychology. The SUNY Potsdam Department of Sociology offers both a major and a minor in criminal justice studies. For more information, visit

To learn more about the SUNY Potsdam Law Enforcement Training Institute, visit

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America's first 50 colleges -- and the oldest institution within SUNY. Now in its third century, SUNY Potsdam is distinguished by a legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence. The College currently enrolls approximately 3,700 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, distinction in teacher training and culture of creativity. To learn more, visit