State trooper has advice for students in Liberty Partnership program

Provided photo: From left includes Kiane Garner, Brooklyn Garrow, Trooper Corey Harmon, Marie Reynolds, Candice Neff, Dylan Marx and teacher Steve Browning.

Posted 8 August 2017 at 12:11 pm

Press Release, Orleans/Niagara BOCES

New York State Trooper Corey Harmon recently spent some time with students who were participating in the Liberty Partnership Program.

The program focuses on at-risk students and encourages them to stay in school and explore careers. Over the course of a week, the students spent some time at Orleans/Niagara BOCES’ Orleans Career and Technical Education Center learning about some of the career and technical ed courses offered there.

Security and Law Enforcement teacher Steve Browning asked Trooper Harmon if he would talk to his class about what it takes to become a trooper and his experiences in that career.

Trooper Harmon showed the students a video about the NYS Police Academy, where recruits learn the basics in law enforcement. He talked about the requirements to become a trooper and the evaluations and background checks that recruits go through. He stressed to them the importance of having a clean history and how anything you have done in the past can come back to haunt you in the interview.

“I had a very clean history, but I made a joke in my yearbook write-up that I didn’t like troopers and they grilled me on that.  Why would I want to become a trooper if I didn’t like them? While there was a perfectly acceptable explanation for the comment, I still had to explain my reasoning for making such a statement 6 years prior. Just keep it in the back of your mind anything you say on social media or elsewhere can be discovered and be brought up in an interview.”

Trooper Harmon said the Academy is very important because it gets all the recruits on the same page when they receive the same kind of training.

“You basically get two years of college in six months.”  He talked about being pepper sprayed and tazered as part of the training and showed video of the recruits going through that process.

“The 19 years I have been on the force I have never pepper sprayed anyone, but I have been pepper sprayed three times for training purposes,” he said. “You have to know what it does to the senses and how people will react to it. It is painful and you will have trouble breathing, so you don’t want to freeze if it happens to you.  The effects last 45 minutes and when you shower it reactivates it. It is not pleasant.”