More than 100 police cadets graduated Wednesday night from the Nassau County Police Academy, the largest class in at least five years, department officials said.
The class of 126 rookie officers -- eight women and 118 men -- were feted with thunderous applause by family, friends, Nassau County Police Department brass and elected officials -- including County Executive Edward Mangano -- during a 90-minute graduation ceremony at Hofstra University.
Two of the officers will join the Glen Cove Police Department, while the other 124 are Nassau County police officers and will hit the streets Monday, officials said.
Acting Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter told his new officers that the rigorous training they've received won't stop after graduation. Now they will be learning on the street, he said.
"Your performance will be subject to close public scrutiny and evaluation. . . . I will always give you the benefit of the doubt if you acted in good faith," Krumpter said.
Richard Mosback, the class valedictorian with a 99 academic average, said he's assigned to the Seventh Precinct in Seaford and has aspirations of becoming a sergeant. An NYPD officer for six years, Mosback, 28, said his Nassau academy training was "paramount."
The academy class began in May, following the reversal of a county-imposed wage freeze. The usual seven months of intense training was expedited to six months to get the rookies on the street faster in an effort to contain spiraling police overtime costs, projected at $67.4 million this year.
Also in the class is Scott Skrynecki, the son of Steven Skrynecki, Nassau's chief of department.
The younger Skrynecki is a lawyer, a former federal air marshal and most recently was the director of investigations at the Nassau County Department of Social Services.
The elder Skrynecki said he was proud of the entire class, which he called "one of the best" in academics and field training. But the 39-year department veteran, speaking before the ceremony, was emotional when discussing his son.
"I think he was intrigued by the stories around the kitchen table," Steven Skrynecki said, his eyes tearing slightly as he spoke. "This is really a completion of a police family for him to be a part of. I couldn't be more proud."
The rookie Skrynecki, 36, was assigned to the First Precinct in Baldwin and said while his past jobs were fulfilling, he always knew he wanted to be a police officer -- like his dad.
"I'm looking forward to a long career," he said.