NEW YORK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The NYPD held its graduation ceremony at Madison Square Garden on Thursday, adding 408 officers to the force.
In addition to graduating, newly-minted Police Officer Michael Velasquez had much more to celebrate.
After the ceremony, Velasquez proposed to his girlfriend, Michella, surrounded by all of his fellow graduates.
“Whenever I’ve been in a dark place, you’ve been there to lift me out. You’re my best friend. You’re my true love and you are my home. So on this day I am here to pledge my life to you,” Velasquez said. “Will you marry me?”
“She said yes!” Office of Deputy Commissioner Sgt. Carlos Nieves tweeted.
A short time later, Officer Michael Raffaele surprised his girlfriend of three years by proposing to her right after the ceremony.
“She stood by me the whole way, she’s very dedicated. I put her through misery, very supportive,” he said. “And I couldn’t have done it without her or my mother, but especially Stephanie.”
For their fellow graduate Ryan Donnellan, being a police officer is in his blood, WCBS 880’s Mike Smeltz reported.
His grandfather, Christopher, came to New York from Ireland and was a traffic cop in Manhattan from 1959 to 1981.
“We had no radios for the longest time. Then, they came out with these big radios, and they didn’t work half the time,” he recalled.
Christopher’s son, Patrick, followed in his footsteps, rising to the level of detective in the 1990s. Now, Patrick’s son, Ryan, is the third generation of Donnellan’s to join the force.
Grandfather Christopher stood tall in the stands at 90 years old and shared what his grandson needs to do to succeed as a cop.
“Main thing is to keep cool when you are out there – no matter what happens,” he said.
Congratulations to the newly-engaged couples and to all of the officers who graduated today.