New SPD officers swear oathPublished 10:09pm Thursday, November 21, 2013
Retired NYPD police officer Benjamin Ellis traveled many miles to see his daughter follow in his footsteps Thursday.
Lorri Ellis was one of four new officers to swear an oath to serve and protect during a badge-pinning ceremony at Suffolk’s First Lady.
“It makes me feel good,” said her 88-year-old father, who served in America’s largest police department for 25 years after serving his country as a Tuskegee Airman in World War II.
His advice to his daughter: “Just follow the steps that the chief will tell her to do. Be honest. Do a good job. Whenever you need help, you go up and ask for it.”
That wisdom echoed Suffolk Police Chief Thomas Bennett’s words of counsel to the rookie police.
“There is nothing more important” than integrity for a police officer, Bennett said.
“I have to know you are always telling the truth. … When it’s your word against a citizen’s word, the judge has to be able to trust you and know that you are telling the truth.”
Learn from your mistakes, he told them. “(But) don’t ever make the same mistake twice. Learn from it and you will be fine.”
The other three new officers are Aldonyia Brooks, Ashley Buie and Rosario Tumminello. Tumminello’s aunt, Tina Tumminello, said she was very proud. “I never thought he would do this, but this is what he wanted to do,” she said.
“He loves to give; he’s always been a giving person.”
Brooks, formerly a police officer in the Army, said being a civilian law-enforcement officer has always been her dream.
“I wanted to accomplish my dream, and here I am,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity, it really is.”
Buie’s mother, Estelita Buie, said in an email her daughter was the youngest graduate at 21, and the daughter of Suffolk Police Department’s Capt. Danny Buie.
She was a volunteer EMT for Suffolk Fire and Rescue, the mother said, taking calls in dispatch, before the department sent her to dispatching school and she applied to become a police officer.
“At a very young age she has accomplished quite a bit, and has based everything she does on public service,” Estelita Buie said.
After graduating from 17 weeks of police academy, Bennett said, the new officers still have several more weeks of class group training ahead of them.
“You’re going to start tomorrow morning with me. We start at 8 a.m.,” he said.
Then will come three months of field officer training, or FTO, he said, adding, “That, in my opinion, is the most important part of your training. That’s where you take everything that you have learned and put it to the test.”
Bennett’s final piece of advice to the new officers: “Think of us as your second family.”