ALFRED — The New York State University Police Department at Alfred State College announced Thursday that two of its officers recently graduated from the Southern Tier Law Enforcement Academy’s Basic Course for Police.

This was the 36th class to graduate from the Southern Tier Law Enforcement Academy in Corning.

Officer Gregg Mark and Officer Dan Sheppard graduated alongside 15 other new law enforcement officers representing 11 different agencies. These new officers will be working all across Allegany, Broome, Chemung, Steuben, Tioga, Schuyler, and Seneca counties.

Mark is a resident of Wayland, while Sheppard resides in Orchard Park.

Mark said the academy was "a life-changing experience that will be the foundation to build off in my new career."

Sheppard said, "The academy definitely tested the limits of my mental and physical strength at times and I really think I am a much stronger person because of it."

Mark and Sheppard joined Alfred State’s University Police Department in August 2018 and immediately entered the academy. In January, the recruits finished their classroom time at the academy and returned to their agencies for academy field training, where they worked with certified field training officers to apply what they learned in the classroom to real situations.

Matthew Heller, the chief of the University Police Department at Alfred State, said, "I want to congratulate Officer Mark, Officer Sheppard, and all of their classmates on completing the academy. We have seen a significant reduction in the number of people entering the law enforcement profession over the last few years. Each of these 17 men and women have made a commitment of service to their respective communities and deserve our thanks and best wishes for a long and safe career."