"You are here for all the right reasons — to help your communities. That is something that separates us from other countries — that you stand for Democracy."
Those were the words of Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin yesterday afternoon at the Rhode Island Municipal Police Academy field house on the Community College of Rhode Island's Flanagan Campus in Lincoln to more than 40 new police officers from 23 communities across the state, including probationary patrol officer Sean Twomey to Middletown.
Officer Twomey is a graduate of Norwich University where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice on May 14, 2006. He later joined the Marine Corps where he served two tours of duty in Iraq and one tour in Afghanistan. He was honorably discharged in 2010 at the rank of Corporal.
"The department is confident that he will carry on the tradition of professionalism and excellence of the Middletown Police Department and is proud to welcome him to its ranks," said Middletown Police Chief Anthony Pesare.
The class is the largest in the history of the academy and the second group to pass through this year. It was the 119th commencement ceremony for the academy and an especially poignant one, as keynote speaker and Basic Training Officer David C. DelBonis said he was leaving the academy to return to where his heart lies: on the street as a beat cop in East Greenwich.
"There's no better job than being on the street for me," DelBonis said. "It's true to my heart."
The officers were told to be proactive, to not get lazy and stop wearing their seat belts or putting on their vests every day. To be humble, compassionate, to not view the job as "us versus them" but to see citizens as partners.