New Springfield police officers receive badges at graduation ceremony

Hampden County

A graduation ceremony was held on Thursday for the Springfield Police Academy Class 1118.

With one current and former police officer facing federal indictments, these new officers are well aware of the challenges and responsibility that come with protecting the community.

Dozens of young men and women are now members of the police force in western Massachusetts. A graduation ceremony was held at American International College Thursday morning where the officers received their badges.

“The responsibility that comes with this badge is a safety and service to the community,” said David Coburn, president of Class 1118. “We wear the badge on the behalf of the community. Us wearing this badge is for them and our responsibility is for them.”

The graduation took place just days after current Springfield Police officer Gregg Bigda and former officer Steven Vigneault were indicted on federal charges of using unreasonable force against two juveniles.

Graduates of the academy said they are well aware of the integrity they must possess while protecting and serving the community.

“I know I have to keep my head on a swivel, make sure I wear this badge with honor and integrity and don’t dig into temptation,” said officer Carlos Ortiz. “I believe that police officers should be aware of the dangers but also be aware that we’re there to serve and that’s our main job.”

The officers who graduated on Thursday will be serving in Springfield, Agawam, Chicopee, and UMass.

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