Earlier this year, the community was proud to recognize the accomplishments of Weronika Jeziorski, who completed training at the Dutchess County Law Enforcement Academy in May. A graduate of Pawling High School (PHS), Deputy Jeziorski’s accomplishment demonstrates not only the rewards of hard work, but also the realization of her childhood aspirations.
Weronika Jeziorski graduated from PHS in 2013 and attended Cedar Crest College in Allentown, PA, where she obtained a degree in Criminal Justice, graduating a semester early. During this time, she also interned at the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office, first participating in “ride alongs” with officers, then spending two weeks logging evidence. “When we first met her as an intern, she made a lasting impression on us,” said Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office Detective Daren Cummings. “She was a very qualified applicant, with a great foundation and knew exactly what she wanted to do.”
Although there are no other law enforcement officers in her family, Weronika decided at an early age that she wanted to work in the field. “This was always the game plan,” she says. “My parents told me when I was eleven or twelve years old that I had already come up with the idea to be a police officer. It’s just something I’ve always wanted to do.”
Deputy Jeziorski began attending the academy in Poughkeepsie in October 2016, one of two women in a class of twenty-one recruits. Class members would train on a part-time basis, receiving instruction on nights and weekends for 30 weeks. The Dutchess County Law Enforcement Academy meets not only the minimum standards for New York State curriculum, but also includes extra hours to ensure that applicants receive ample training. In addition to classroom instruction and physical training, class members are instructed extensively in defensive tactics, emergency vehicle operation, firearms, and active shooter scenarios.
Before graduating from the academy, Deputy Jeziorski would also have to pass the rigorous physical fitness exam. For female candidates age 20 – 29, this required the completion of 41 consecutive sit-ups, 24 push-ups, and a 1 ½ mile run in less than 12 minutes and 51 seconds. “At first, I struggled with that,” Deputy Jeziorski says. “But for me, it was work hard, train hard. I worked hard in the classroom, and trained with one of the PT instructors outside, and I got through it.” In the end, she persevered, fulfilling all requirements. “She certainly showed persistence when faced with challenges,” says Sergeant Shawn Castano, director of the 2017 academy. “She never gave up.” Following her graduation on May 19, Jeziorski was hired by the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office as a Deputy Sheriff.
As Deputy Jeziorski settles into her new position, she is deliberating about her next career step. “I’d like to see myself in a school for a while as a School Resource Officer,” she says. “I’d like to help impact kids’ lives. Beyond that, maybe detective someday.” Through her focus and determination, she is well on her way to a bright future in law enforcement. “This is everything I’ve always wanted,” she says. “It was hard work, but hard work for a reason.”