Chief Snellings’ Son Among Graduates Of State Police Academy

Jamestown Police Chief Harry Snellings with his son, Sean, at his graduation Wednesday from the New York State Police Academy in Albany. Sean Snellings will begin field training Monday. Submitted photo

Jamestown Police Chief Harry Snellings had a true proud-father-moment Wednesday. That’s because his son, Sean, was one of 208 new graduates from the Basic School of the New York State Police Academy in Albany.

“He’s worked extremely hard,” Snellings said. “Seeing him walk across the stage, I couldn’t have been more proud … I’ve always encouraged my kids to do whatever makes them happy.”

Sean, 25, is a graduate of the State University of New York at Fredonia where he received a bachelor’s degree in Spanish. He worked as a senior team leader for HSBC Bank before deciding to switch careers and get into law enforcement.

The middle child in the family, Sean said he received a lot of encouragement from his father, who has been with the Jamestown Police Department for more than 20 years.

“Growing up I was around it a lot with law enforcement and the military,” Sean said. “It was something that I always thought about doing and this was just the right time.”

The Blasdell resident underwent 26 weeks of training at the Basic School in the state’s capital. During graduation at the Empire State Plaza, Sean was presented the Academic Achievement Award for maintaining a 97.93 percent academic average.

Sean will be assigned to Troop C, which covers Broome, Chenango, Cortland, Tioga and Tompkins counties. He will report for field duty Monday for 10 weeks of supervised training.

“I really believe in their values and core beliefs,” Sean said of the state police, which currently has about 5,000 troopers serving across New York. “I thought this would be an opportunity to follow in my father’s steps.”

Sean noted that having a father who has been an officer for two decades might come in handy when it comes to advice.

“He understands the job and the dangers,” Sean said. “I’m very thankful to have him to help me out if I need it. It’s quite the name to live up to.”

The newest trooper said he looks forward to starting his training next week.

The local police chief seems just as excited.

“Right now he gets to focus on field work where you truly get to see everything,” Snellings said. “You can see what kind of direction you might want to go.”

Also graduating this week from the academy was 24-year-old Dalton Walsh of Stockton.

“It’s what I’ve always wanted to do growing up,” Walsh said in a video post. “I’ve always looked up to the state police. To be part of that legacy is just a great honor.”

In a press release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo congratulated the 206th class to graduate from the police academy.

“I commend these fine men and women for answering the call and committing to protect their communities and their fellow New Yorkers as members of the New York State Police,” Cuomo said. “These new troopers have dedicated themselves to public service and together, we will continue to make this great state a safer place to live, work and travel.”

“There is no greater or more noble calling than protecting and serving the people of this state,” added Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who spoke at Wednesday’s graduation ceremony. “I’m honored to congratulate the more than 200 brave and selfless men, women and veteran graduates, who are committed to keeping New York and its citizens safe.”