NIAGARA COUNTY – In response to Niagara University’s decision to not allow the Niagara County Law Enforcement Academy graduation ceremony to take place on its campus, Niagara County Legislator David Godfrey said today it may be time to rethink the relationship between Niagara County and Niagara University. While Niagara University says this venue change was due to a scheduling conflict, others suggest a campus petition advocating for removal of the Law Enforcement Academy’s graduation ceremony had something to do with the decision.
“To say I am extremely disappointed in the actions of Niagara University is a tremendous understatement,” said Godfrey, chairman of the county’s Community Safety Committee. “The women and men graduating from the Niagara County Law Enforcement Academy deserve our respect, and their accomplishments should be celebrated, not diminished, by being pushed off campus.”
The Niagara County Law Enforcement Academy is a partnership between the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office, Niagara Falls Police Department and Niagara University that trains currently hired, sworn officers and has been approved by the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) to train pre-employment recruits. It is designed for current civilians throughout New York State who are interested in entering law enforcement.
Godfrey said he intends to meet with Niagara County Sheriff Michael Filicetti to discuss the county’s relationship with NU, and in particular, whether the academy should be moved elsewhere.
“While NU provided a half-hearted explanation that a scheduling conflict led to the graduation being moved, this really seems to be about the university appeasing the anti-police crowd who threatened to protest the graduation,” said Godfrey. “If the NU administration feels more aligned with those who want to defund the police rather than those who serve and protect, then perhaps it’s time to end our relationship and move the academy elsewhere.”
FEATURE PHOTO: 10th Legislative District Representative David Godfrey (R-C) speaking at a Niagara County Legislature Meeting (2019).