Local car dealership donates vehicle to SUNY Potsdam’s Law Enforcement Institute

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From left, Ellis Chevrolet Buick GMC CEO Rick Ellis, President Jason Ellis, SUNY Potsdam Law Enforcement Training Institute Director Sonny Duquette and Operations Manager Randy Wood (photo; SUNY Potsdam)

POTSDAM, N.Y. (WWTI) — SUNY Potsdam’s Law Enforcement Institute now has a new ride.

Ellis Chevrolet Buick GMC in Malone, New York, recently donated a Dodge Avenger to SUNY Potsdam’s Law Enforcement Training Institute Director Sonny Duquette. Duquette noted that this vehicle will be a “huge boost” for the academy.

“With funding for law enforcement training being extremely low, academy directors around the state have been reaching out to their local communities in hopes of gaining any assistance, especially with big ticket items, such as vehicles,” Duquette said in a press release. “We were in dire need.”

The SUNY Potsdam Law Enforcement Training Institute is a New York State-accredited police academy. It offers instruction in defensive tactics, emergency medical services, emergency vehicle operation, applying field sobriety tests, processing crime scenes and additional training topics. The Institute offers both Phase One and Phase Two instructions for both pre-employment cadets or hired officers and cadets.

According to Duquette, this vehicle will be used for multiple training modules throughout the academy’s curriculum. This includes emergency vehicle operations, professional traffic stops, vehicle extractions, high risks stops and reality based training. The vehicle was specifically donated by the Malone-based dealership’s President Jason Ellis, CEO Rick Ellis and Operations Manager Rick Wood.

“I was really hurting for a vehicle, and full disclosure, I was really hoping that the fact Rick Ellis was a retired trooper would come into play for us. Thankfully, it did,” Duquette added. “I am very happy they stepped up for us. Law enforcement needs training, and we all know it.”

Cadets at the Institute complete a majority of the total police academy requirements, prior to receiving their undergraduate degree. It has a maximum availiability of 30 students per cohort and top priority acceptance is given to SUNY Potsdam criminal justice students.

The SUNY Potsdam Law Enforcement Institute is a joint initiative of the SUNY Potsdam Lougheed Center for Applied Learning, the Department of Sociology and University Police.

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