Two Officers of Guyanese Descent Create History in Schenectady, New York

On Friday, January 26, 2018, Schenectady added 14 new police officers — and the first Guyanese-Americans to the force.

The addition of two officers of Guyanese descent is a first for the city, which has developed a significant Guyanese population over the past two decades.

“I’ve always wanted to be in law enforcement,” said Shaquille A. Hemerding, one of the Guyanese-American officers. “I want to challenge myself every day.”

The 23-year-old, who moved here from Brooklyn while in the fourth grade, is a graduate of Niskayuna High School and has attended Hudson Valley Community College and Schenectady County Community College. He recognizes he will become a role model to other citizens of Guyanese background.

“I want to show everyone, wherever they come from, that they can come forward and can challenge themselves,” Hemerding said after he and the other new officers were sworn in by Mayor Gary McCarthy.

The other Guyanese was 30 year old Andre A. Alert, who graduated from high school in Guyana in 2004 and has a criminal justice degree from Columbia-Greene Community College.

2016 Guyana Day in Schenectady New York

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