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Two Men Receive Oath of Office in Pelham Manor

PELHAM MANOR, N.Y. – One young man took an initial step toward becoming a police officer Monday night while another transferred to the Pelham Manor Police Department.

Mayor James O'Connor administered the oath of office to Mount Vernon resident Andrew Leal, 24, and Yorktown resident Michael Tillistrand, 28, at Monday night's Pelham Manor Board of Trustees meeting.

Leal, who speaks fluent Spanish and Portuguese, said he wanted to be a police officer since his youth and he will join the Pelham Manor Police Department after he completes 20 weeks of training at the Westchester County Police Academy in Valhalla.

"[I] always wanted to," Leal said. "A couple of friends and other people were always gearing me towards it."

Leal's mother, Elvira, and his younger brother, Matthew, attended the meeting with him. They also knew of his passion for police work since his childhood. "In cops and robbers, he was always the cop," Matthew Leal said.

Leal's mother watched with pride as her son had his moment at the meeting. "He's a good kid, a good young man," Elvira Leal said. "He's a good young man. [I'm] very proud."

Michael Tillistrand has been an officer in the New York Police Department's 48th Precinct for the past five years. He deployed to Afghanistan after he graduated from the University of North Carolina and returned home as a captain.

He attended Yorktown High School and Valley Forge Military School on a U.S. Army ROTC Scholarship before he went to UNC. He graduated from the college with a B.A. in History.

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