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SUNY Erie police recruits give Sloan parish a Christmas lift

Article by: Michael Farrell

SLOAN—Now in the thick of the holiday season, a collection of students from SUNY Erie Community College’s Law Enforcement Training Academy (LETA) took time away from classes and course exercises to selflessly assist members of their Western New York community.

On December 11, eight recruits—along with LETA instructor John Chiarello—banded together to assist St. Andrew R.C. Church in Sloan with its annual Nativity display. Tasked with moving and assembling a 600 lb. handmade manger, the group braved the parish’s snowbound expanse to complete the set-up for parishioners and visitors headed to the church throughout Advent season and for upcoming Christmas masses.

“Seventy-five percent of our parishioners are over the age of 65, so we can’t get a lot of volunteers able to do this,” said Pat Noga, St. Andrew’s parish office manager since 1991. “When we found out the students were coming over, we were ecstatic. [The manger] is now up in a timely fashion, and we’re all so thankful and appreciative of the effort.”

It was a small holiday favor—one for which Noga and St. Andrew plan to recognize the SUNY Erie group at its upcoming Santa Breakfast on December 17. But for the students and their program, it was also a token of appreciation to the leaders of St. Andrew. The parish has allowed SUNY Erie to conduct training exercises for Academy students inside its school since 2006. These drills happen twice per week for four weeks of every semester, and are essential to the recruits’ eventual readiness as graduates.

SUNY Erie’s Law Enforcement Training Academy equips enrolled recruits with the knowledge of criminal law, physical fitness, emergency vehicle operation, first aid, and a number of other relevant subjects. The certificate delves into the above topics, and helps prepare individuals for their future employment with local police departments throughout Western New York. 

Since 1946, Erie Community College has met the needs of a diverse student body while contributing to the economic vitality of Western New York. As a member of the state’s SUNY system, the three-campus college provides flexible, affordable and accessible educational programs in an accommodating academic environment. Equipped with the knowledge of these programs, ECC’s faculty, staff and students strive to enrich their host communities through skill, service and partnership. For more information, visit www.ecc.edu or call (716) 851-1ECC.

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