Union County Police Academy Graduates 39 New Officers

Union County officials announced that on Tuesday, July 21, thirty-nine graduates of the John H. Stamler Police Academy took their oaths of honor in a ceremony celebrating the academy’s 122nd graduating class.

“Not only did the 122nd graduating class persevere through a global pandemic to complete their training, but they now enter the law enforcement profession at a time when law enforcement is under immense scrutiny," acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo said.

As the first recruit class to graduate during a global pandemic, the 122nd class experienced an unprecedented twenty-three weeks at the academy.

While classes began normally in January, as COVID-19’s threat to public health grew unavoidable, recruits began meeting virtually in March to continue their physical and academic training.

The class returned to in-person instruction in June with measures in place to protect the health and safety of recruits and academy staff.

“The 122nd graduating class faced more challenges than other recruit classes that have successfully completed the academy,” said Academy Director Eric G. Mason. “We are proud of all our graduates and wish them the best as they pursue their law enforcement careers.”

While recruits usually graduate from the academy in a large, formal ceremony, this year’s abridged and more informal commencement took place outside the Stamler Police Academy in Scotch Plains to ensure graduates and their limited number of guests had space to observe proper social distancing guidelines.