DUNDEE, N.Y. (WETM) – A Dundee man was one of 32 police academy graduates that entered the New York State Parks Police Force, winning an award during his six-month training, as well.

NYS Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation announced 32 people graduated from the Basic School of the State Park Police Academy. Robert Costanzo of Dundee was one of two Western Region graduates and received the Leadership Award for his time at the academy.

“These committed officers have undergone rigorous training,” said State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid. “Their dedication leads to protecting a safe and welcoming environment for millions of visitors we have in our state park system each year – helping people in extreme circumstances or simply enjoying an educational visit, a family vacation or a night under the stars.”

The office said the six months at the 17th academy included classroom work on various law and investigation work. Recruits also had hands-on training in firearms, first response, snowmobile operation, ATV operation, and emergency vehicle operation. They’ll now start 10 weeks of supervised field training before they start assigned patrols.

The only other Western Region graduate was Christopher Coleman from Niagara Falls. The other 30 were all from the Albany, Hudson Valley, or New York City areas.

According to NYS Parks, between the Empire State’s 35 historic sites and 250 parks, over 79 million people visited in 2022.