White Plains Woman Among New State Police Academy Grads

The New York State Police recently welcomed 226 new members, including a large contingent from the Hudson Valley, to their troops following their graduation from the 204th session of the Basic School of the New York State Police Academy.

The New York State Police recently graduated 226 new members who will join the department.
The New York State Police recently graduated 226 new members who will join the department. Photo Credit: New York State Police

“After months of training, the 204th Basic School join the ranks of one of the finest police agencies in the world,” said New York State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II. “For nearly 100 years the State Police have served and protected the citizens of New York. I congratulate all of our new Troopers and thank them for their continued dedication to the State Police and the people of New York.”

The graduation ceremony was held at the Empire State Plaza Convention Hall in Albany where the new troopers marched into the convention center in a procession led by the New York State Police Pipe and Drum band. The National Anthem was performed by Trooper Elizabeth Fallon and the ceremony included a video presentation of the training received by all members of the 204th Basic School Session.

New Trooper Avery Katz, 34, from Yorktown Heights was chosen as the student representative of the class by his fellow classmates. 

Katz will be awarded a new firearm from the New York State Troopers Police Benevolent Association which has sponsored the awarding of a firearm to the member of the class who is selected by his or her peers to represent them during these exercises. The PBA presents the award in memory of Trooper John J. McKenna IV, who was killed in action in 2006, while serving his country as a Marine in Iraq.

Prior to joining the New York State Police, Katz graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice. He is currently an Executive Officer in the U.S. Marine Core Reserves. He will be assigned to Troop F.

The new troopers will report for field duty on Oct. 20.. For the following 10 weeks the new troopers will be evaluated under a field-training program supervised by senior Field Training Officers.

Local graduates include:


  • Kyle T. Jackson -- Port Chester
  • Zenel S. Lulanaj  -  Valhalla
  • Colleen E. McNamara  -- White Plains
  • Claris Ortiz -- Yonkers
  • Joseph E. Penniman -- Thornwood
  • Matthew A. Stivala -- Yonkers
  • Carolina Vergara -- Yonkers


  • Tyler W. Knapp -- Mahopac
  • Francis W. Rush IV -- Putnam Valley


  • William C. DiDiego -- Wappingers Falls
  • Robert Costa -- Wappingers Falls
  • Brittany L. Schurko -- LaGrangeville


  • Andrew Giga -- New City
  • Catherine J. Savoia -- Haverstraw
  • Ronald Raymond -- Suffern

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