(This speech was given at the graduation ceremonies for the Eastern Shore Police Training Center in 1980. Rick was the class spokesman.)
By Rick Holt
Honored Guests and Fellow Classmates. We're the survivors -- Classs of 1980, ESPTC. Back in September, three months seemed like an eternity, but here we are! When we look back to September it's hard to believe that the only way we knew each other was to look at a name tag. Now we not only know the names, but it seems everyone has a nickname...Right, BooBoo?, Captain Roo?, Baby Blue?, (Gasoline Walls, Jughead...)
We've been through a lot together. We've survived the lofty lectures on criminal law and constitutional law. We studied accident investigation and state traffic code it seemed like forever. We survived Lou Geekus and the thumb and forefinger reverse wrist lock come along. (My wrist still hurts.) We survived the tests. The constant testing. We survived the rain and the cold for a week at the firing range. It was the coldest, wettest week in three month and needless to say it was an outdoor range.
We survived the "war stories," most of which has some redeeming quality! Seriously though, some of the things we'll probably remember most from these three months of instruction are the personal experiences related to us by our instructors. One message that came through clearly in all the war stories and for that matter in all the instruction we received was that the job of the law enforcement officer has changed in the last 10-15-20 years. The law enforcement officer today has to be sharper and better trained to handle the more complex requirements of the courts. These last three months have prepared us for the task.
We don't pretend to think we've learned all we need to know. It seems that the more you learn the more there is to learn. But you gotta start somewhere.
Law enforcement is people and we've spent the last three months learning about people. What makes them act the way they do. How to handle this situation or that. We've practiced what we've learned. Many times we filmed these practices on video tape and we could watch ourselves in action. "Did I really do that?!!" When we get on the job we're not going to have that luxury...you only get one chance with each situation you handle. That's when all the studying and praciticing and testing pays off.
This graduation is the culmination of a lot of hard work and we're proud of our accomplishment. We want to thank you all for coming here to share this special occasion with us.
We have a lot of people to thank. On behalf of the class I'd like to thank Chief Payne for his dedicated efforts in making the class run smoothly.
We'd like to thank Bob Almon and the staff of Wor-Wic Community College for all they've done.
We would like to thank Sgt. Jean Crone for her part as class supervisor.
We express our appreciation to all our instructors.
We'd like to thank all of our individual chiefs and supervisors for their support.
And I've saved them for last, but perhaps most importantly we want to thank our families for standing by us these last three months.
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