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AREA RESIDENTS TO BEGIN LAW ENFORCEMENT CAREERS TODAY

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011— A former member of the U.S. President’s Honor Guard, a one-time national gymnastics champion and six college graduates are among those set to graduate from the Cook County Sheriff’s Training Academy today, setting them on a course to begin law enforcement careers as correctional officers at the Cook County Jail.

Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart will preside over ceremonies set for 2 p.m. today at Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Heights. Events will take place in Building M, just off the 111th Street entrance to the campus. The 29 cadets set to be recognized today began training last year, but are the first academy class to graduate this year.

This class includes cadet Kevin Andreuccetti, of Downers Grove, who served as a member of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment while in the U.S. Army. Among the duties of that unit is serving as Honor Guard officers for the President of the United States. Andreuccetti served in the unit during Ronald Reagan’s administration and nearly 30 years later is beginning a law enforcement career. Three other veterans are graduating today, along with Gregory Adams Jr., of Chicago, who is working with a local non-profit group to open a homeless shelter aimed at assisting U.S. military veterans.

The class also includes Richard Garcia, of West Dundee, who was a national champion in gymnastics while in high school, along with a cadet who finished a marathon in Italy, another who was an Illinois high school state qualifier in track and six college graduates.  Of those six college graduates, three graduated with honors and are each fluent in another language - Spanish, Bulgarian and Polish.

Also graduating today are Raymond Harris Jr., of Calumet Park, who was honored by Chicago police for assisting in catching a bank robber and Jorge Garza, of Oak Lawn, who previously worked for Motorola and helped build communication radios for New York public safety officers to use in the aftermath of the attacks there on Sept. 11, 2001.

These cadets were hired under strict hiring guidelines Dart introduced in 2007 – standards that require physical fitness, psychological testing and thorough background checks. Those steps come along with a court mandate to add hundreds of correctional officers at the long-understaffed jail.

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