Less than twenty-four hours after one of the bloodiest episodes in New Hampshire Law Enforcement history, a new class of police cadets graduated from the academy.
Friends and family of New Hampshire’s newest law enforcement agents filled the room to see the 157th police academy class receive their certificates.
But the mood in Concord was bittersweet as Governor John Lynch addressed the crowd.
“We are here tonight with sadness in our hearts,” said Lynch.
“Saddened by the death of Greenland Police Chief Michael Maloney, and the shooting of four other officers.”
Maloney was a week from retirement when he was killed by a gunshot to the head during a drug raid Thursday night. The suspected gunman and another person were also killed.
Attorney General Michael Delaney addressed the graduating class of 37 officers. He told them to be proud of their chosen career.
“As we remember the memory of Police Chief Michael Maloney, you should know that you are joining much more than a noble profession,” said Delaney.
“You are joining a brotherhood and a sisterhood that will always be there for you, no matter what the issue at hand.
After the ceremony, moms and dads, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, posed for pictures with the cadets.
Deborah LoRusso was here to see her son Sabato become the newest member of the Newton Police Department. She said the shooting is very much on her mind.
“When I heard about what happened to the other police officer’s yesterday, I did sit down and have that moment of, wow...but I know this is what he wants,” she said.
After 14 weeks in the academy, Jason Reinold, a tall man wearing the starched uniform of the Nashua Police Department, is ready to join the force.
He sees the events in Greenland as a sobering final lesson to for his graduating class, one not likely to be forgotten.
“It definitely brings home the point that the job is dangerous; it is something you have to take seriously all the time,” said Reinold.
“You can’t take anything for granted. Anything can happen at any moment. And it can happen really fast.”
The investigation into the Greenland shootings is ongoing. Two of the officers shot in the incident remain at Portsmouth Hospital.
Autopsy results of the suspected shooter and the unidentified woman that was found dead with him are expected to be released later today.