NMJC Corrections Academy Cadets Graduate
7/13/2015 3:07:09 p.m. - Hobbs, NM.
[Story from Lathan Romero, Hobbs News-Sun]
The cadets of Class C 15-65 marched in to the room as director Naomi Phillips gave her opening address. The cadets remained stern-faced as they took their seats to begin the graduation ceremony.
Sergeant Rivas, and Warden Jeff Wrigley, of Lea County Correctional Facility, all spoke highly of the cadets and what they went through in the academy, as they gave their opening addresses.
The cadets received their badges, and were sworn in as officers by Wrigley. The badges were pinned on by beloved family members chosen by the cadets. “It’s not anything that just anybody could do,” Phillips spoke of the academy. “You have to heart. It takes a lot of endurance and you have to really want this. The cadets start to realize, they’re never going to be just one person, they’re always going to be a team and they become a family in the end.”
“It was crazy,” class leader Lelan Gilmore said of his time at the academy. “There were good times, bad times, you see people arguing, but we all come together in the end.”
Gilmore has actually been through the academy once before,15 years ago. After being uncertified as an officer for a while he had to take it again.
He enjoyed the experience, and assured it does not get any easier.
“It was different — different classmates, different instructors — and it was even a little more challenging, probably because I’ve gotten older.”
“It was a good experience for me as well.” Daniel Lopez said of his experience “I learned a lot these past ten weeks, I’m not gonna say it was easy, it was tough, and it was good.” Lopez, however, has his eye set to the future.
"I did it for the career, law enforcement. This gets my foot in the door, it’s good experience and, hopefully, I can become a police officer one day soon,” he said.
“I studied for this, straight out of college I came here just to get the job,” Stephen Estrada said. “It’s my passion, and that’s why I came out here.”
Estrada obtained the highest physical test score, and set two agility records. He said he had always played sports, and the athleticism came naturally.
The cadets all spoke highly of their experience, and all said they are eager to begin their careers as corrections officers.