NEW BEDFORD – Alexandria Richards channeled the wisdom of one of New England’s most wise, popular and legendary leaders in her remarks Wednesday night to the graduating class of the Bristol County Corrections Academy.

“Do your job,” she said, echoing the words of New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick. “And on behalf of the graduating class, we’re ready to do our job.”

Richards was one of 24 men and women who celebrated the completion of the eight-week academy to become Corrections Officers with the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office. During the academy, recruits receive training in everything from defensive tactics to communication, teamwork, security procedures, policy standards, first aid and more.

At Wednesday’s ceremony at GNB Voc-Tech, Sheriff Thomas Hodgson officially welcomed the new officers to the Bristol County family.

“It’s your dedication and your passion that’s carried you through the training academy and into the role of Corrections Officer,” he told the graduates. “And now it’s your ideas, your perspectives, your leadership and your compassion that makes the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office better today than it was yesterday.”

Members of the 41st graduating class of the Bristol County Corrections Academy are Zachary Burrell, Derek Cocchi, Shannese Confoey, Zachary Egan, Derek Fague, Tyler Farias (treasurer), Marco Ferrer, Trequan Gardner (president), Breanne Gauvin, Trevor Golenski, Dakota Jones, Ethan Kelly (secretary), Kolton Kelly, Kyle Lincoln, Zachary Malek, William Maloney, Tyler Ollivierre, George Pelletier, Jonathan Silvia, Sharayah Smithson, Emily Texeira (vice-president), Donovan Torres, Zachary Vorce and Richards, who was valedictorian with a 98.25 average.

The class also earned a guidon, a special marker used throughout history in the military and law enforcement to signify unit designation. The guidon is awarded by the training staff based on the class’ teamwork and togetherness.

“The guidon is an honor that is earned and not just handed out. It is not attained by every academy, but by those who earn it,” BCSO Sgt. Martha Silveira said during the ceremony. “It’s awarded when they transform from individuals into one unit.”

The Bristol County Sheriff’s Office is holding another training academy for recruits in July. Anyone interested in becoming a corrections officer can find more information, including a downloadable application, online at

-Bristol County Sheriff's Office

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