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January 6, 2010

"Paratrooper with felony pardoned to join NYPD"

A helpful reader forwarded to me this interesting article with the headline that is in the title of this post.  Here are the details:

A decorated paratrooper whose felony gun conviction barred him from his dream of becoming a New York City police officer has been granted a pardon by New York State’s Gov. David Paterson.

Spc. Osvaldo Hernandez will be free to become a police officer with the city police department or pursue another career in law enforcement after he returns from active duty in January, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

“This is the beginning for me ... not the end,” Hernandez, 27, of the 82nd Airborne Division, said in a statement. “I will try to live up to the faith placed in me in all that I do as an infantryman when my unit deploys to Afghanistan, and when I return home.”

Hernandez thanked Paterson “for giving me my life back,” and he said he owes a “lifelong debt” to Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli, who, among others, wrote a letter of support for Hernandez’s 100-page pardon application....

On Nov. 22, 2002, Hernandez was pulled over and arrested in his native Queens for having an unlicensed loaded gun in his car. Then 20 years old, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one year in prison.

After his release, Hernandez made good on a promise to prosecutors that he enlist. He volunteered for the infantry, completed paratrooper training and deployed to Afghanistan in February 2007, where he served 15 months.

Over the course of his service, Hernandez trained Ukrainian paratroopers and cadets at West Point and eventually trained Afghan National Police in Ghazni Province. He was awarded a Combat Infantryman Badge, two Army Commendation Medals and three Army Achievement Medals.

The Army discharged him in June 2008, and in January 2009, Hernandez scored a 98 on the New York City Police Department exam. However, the department’s blanket policy barring felons kept him out.

Hernandez had gotten help from attorney James Harmon Jr., a former prosecutor who served in Vietnam, and from Randy Jergenson, a former city homicide detective who served as a paratrooper in Korea.

January 6, 2010 at 05:54 PM | Permalink


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Qualifications for NYPD: 1) Illegal use of a gun; 2) spend a year in a violent, confined space; 3) learn the best ways to kill people. wonderful.

Posted by: La Rana | Jan 7, 2010 6:02:11 PM

There are so many people who wants to become a police officer. With the proper police training and police recruitment course the department will get so many young people as a police officer to fight against illegal and unlawful activities going on in the country. As young people will be young and energetic they will learn all the new techniques which have been advanced very early so that they can manage to handle the situations or consequences.

Posted by: Nathaniel | Jan 30, 2010 7:34:20 AM

I admire this young man who has fought for his country or is fighting for his country. I'm not clear as to his pardon, but I will say this. Those who join the ranks of the Thin Blue Line will pay their dues and some with their life while serving out their sworn duties. With proper trainin and a willingness to be the very best cop they can be they will succeed and the citizes will demand protection. God bless and I hope this works out and don't have to read somewhere down the road this story from a different angle and we are standing at some cold grave site honoring a fallen hero. Time will tell and may God protect those who serve in the capcity of LE ALL OVER THIS GREAT NATION.

Posted by: Margaret Hood | Feb 10, 2010 4:54:37 PM

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