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Graduation day for sheriff’s deputies

Three locals sworn in after completing 18-week training program in Santa Clarita

Posted: July 23, 2009 10:24 p.m.
Updated: July 24, 2009 4:55 a.m.

A group of 38 deputies, including three from the Santa Clarita Valley, are inspected one last time before they are sworn in as the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department on Thursday.

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Inside the cool-aired Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center in Valencia, 38 deputies stood in uniform to be sworn in by Sheriff Lee Baca.

As dozens of flashes from digital cameras surrounded the graduates on the Thursday morning, friends and family members looked on to see their loved ones officially become Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies.

It was graduation day for deputies from all over Los Angeles County, including three from the Santa Clarita Valley, who spent 18 weeks training at the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department’s Training Academy in Santa Clarita, located on the College of the Canyons Valencia campus.

“You are heroes to me because I know what it takes to get in this profession,” Baca said in his address to the deputies.

Baca acknowledged the dedication and intelligence needed to perform as a deputy.

“This is more than a job,” he said. “It is a way of life.”

This year’s graduating class, known as Class 377, included 14 female and 23 male deputy sheriffs and one police officer from the Burbank Police Department.

Four of the graduates, who live in all parts of Los Angeles County, are veterans.

Three of the graduates, Jeff Cacic, 24,  Michael Miller, 23, and Marshall Lawrence, 24, grew up in Santa Clarita and graduated from local high schools.

After the ceremony, the three graduates reflected on how they’ve changed since choosing to be a deputy.

“I’ve matured a lot,” Miller said. “I’ve learned a lot of teamwork.”

The ceremony also honored the achievements of Class 377’s leading deputies.

Deputy Lewis Orantes, of Lancaster, was named the honor recruit for Class 377 and took the podium to thank fellow deputies.

“To the class of 377, we made it happen,” he said. “We came together and became one heart and one mind.”

In his address to the deputies, Santa Clarita Mayor Frank Ferry praised firefighters, teachers, law enforcement officers and nurses for their dedication in serving others.

“These are the heroes of society,” he said. “You have the giving spirit, the ability to connect with people.”

Ferry encouraged the deputies to stay focused at a time when an economic downturn locally and nationally means more crime as people struggle to survive.

“The pressures you are about to face as you go on are true pressures,” he said.

The ceremony also recognized the support of family and friends and Baca’s final words to the graduates were a tribute to them.

“Remember your family will always come first,” Baca said. “Never put this job before your family.”



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