The New York City Police department swore in its biggest recruiting class since 2006, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly announced Wednesday morning.
The swearing-in ceremony, which was held at the Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College, saw Commissioner Kelly administer the oath to 1,635 recruits. sixteen percent of that class were born overseas, in 55 different countries.
“The new class is the largest single infusion of officers into the department in five years and it reflects the diverse population it will help protect.” Mayor Bloomberg said in a press release issued.
Mayor Bloomberg says that the city will be able to take on a large class of new police officers despite the ongoing budget challenges facing the city.
“While the City’s fiscal situation remains difficult, we are committed to maintaining and building on the dramatic improvements in public safety achieved by the NYPD over the last decade,” the Mayor added.
A police force with larger numbers could potentially help beef up presence at the forthcoming Resorts World Casino, which will open later this summer at Aqueduct Racetrack.
“It will add to the city’s ability to do that,” said Betty Braton, chairwoman of Community Board 10. “I hope we will see increased police presence at Aqueduct Racetrack.”
City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) has been calling for increased police activity around the Aqueduct area. Ulrich wrote in a letter to Commissioner Kelly that extra police officers are needed due to the thousands of people the casino is expected to attract.
“In order to keep our streets safe, we are going to need more cops at the 106th precinct,” Ulrich said. “My constituents should not have to worry about any rise in crime that might emanate from Aqueduct.”
The new police recruits will begin official training at the Police Academy in Manhattan on Monday.
“Whether this is your second career or your first job out of college, your skills and life experience are invaluable to our mission of reducing crime, defending against terrorism, and forging cooperative relationships with the people we serve,” Commissioner Kelly said. “I look forward to joining Mayor Bloomberg this winter to celebrate your graduation.”
by Luis Gronda