For one local family, their dedication to public service is a tradition that lives on.
“Growing up, that’s all I ever wanted to be was a police officer,” said Director of the Office of Counter Terrorism Michael Cerretto.
That sentiment, and the dedication to public service, is alive and well in the Cerretto family.
“It probably started with my grandfather and we all looked up to him and my father was in law enforcement so it kind of just trickled down,” said New York State Police Sgt. Rock Cerretto.
Just a week ago, Rocky Cerretto took part in the family tradition, graduating as the fourth active State Trooper in his family.
“It’s very rare,” said Mark O’Donnell of the New York State Police. “It’s extremely difficult to get hired on this job in the first place. You’re dealing with the entire state- there are 35,000 people that take the exam so you’ve got a 1 in 35,000 chance to get hired, and that’s just the initial exam.”
Rocky’s father, Rock, is a sergeant, his uncle Michael is a staff inspector and cousin David is an investigator –and they all grew up right here in the Rochester area.
“They taught me never to quit and go after my dreams and this was one of my dreams so I worked hard and I got it,” said Rocky.
“It was a great feeling,” said Rock Cerretto. “I was really proud of my son for graduating and making it through and just my whole family.”
There is plenty more to be proud of — cousin Mike is a public safety officer at the University of Rochester and the family has retired Sheriff’s deputies, a parole officer and a Rochester police officer.
It all makes family gatherings pretty unique.
“They’re pretty hectic, a lot of screaming,” said Rocky. “Not always everyone there. Might be at different times or might have to have it a day early or a day late, but they’re always fun.”
“Sometimes there’s a lot of empty chairs, but there are always good stories,” said Michael Cerretto.
If you added up the entire Ceretto family’s time in public service it would be well over 100 years, and counting.