Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today presided over a graduation ceremony for 1,159 new police officers at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The new officers recently completed more than six months of Police Academy training and will be assigned to Operation Impact, the program that pairs rookie officers with experienced supervisors and deploys them to targeted high-crime areas. The first major deployment for the class is the New Year’s Eve celebration and countdown in Times Square on Monday.
“Today’s graduates have chosen one of the toughest, most demanding and one of the most important jobs there is,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “New York’s finest, including the new police officers sworn in today, are admired the world over and are the reason New York can call itself the nation’s safest big city.”
“You are taking your place among a law enforcement team that is second to none,” said Commissioner Kelly. “Your fellow officers have driven crime down by 32 percent over the last decade, and secured for New York City the fewest number of homicides in more than half a century. We’re counting on you to help build on this impressive legacy.”
Over 40 percent of this graduating class are college graduates; 467 have earned their bachelor’s degrees and 47 hold advanced degrees, including three juris doctors.
Seventy-six of the new officers served in the U.S. military and 109 previously served the City in other capacities including as NYPD Police Cadets, School Safety Agents, Traffic Enforcement Agents, and other civil service titles.
The class is 84 percent male and 16 percent female; 53 percent white, 12 percent black, 25 percent Hispanic, 9 percent Asian, and 1 percent other. Approximately one in five new police officers immigrated to the United States from 46 different countries (listed below). The members of this class speak 58 different foreign languages.
Probationary Police Officer Michael D’Appolonia received the Mayor’s Award for Highest Overall Average. After graduating college, Officer D’Appolonia worked in financial services before deciding to join the New York City Police Department.
Probationary Police Officer Karol Sokolow is the recipient of the Police Commissioner’s Award for the second-highest overall average. Officer Sokolow immigrated to the United States from Poland at age 9. He is a graduate of Hunter College, where he made the Dean’s list.
Probationary Police Officer Linhong Li received the First Deputy Commissioner’s Award for highest academic average. He previously served in the U.S. Marine Corps including a tour in Iraq, and was a member of the NYPD Police Cadet Corps.
Probationary Police Officer Kara Darcey received the award for physical fitness. She is a former collegiate softball player whose brother is a sergeant in the NYPD and whose relatives have served and are serving in the City’s Fire and Sanitation Departments, respectively.
Probationary Police Officer Joseph Belokopitsky also received an award for physical fitness. Officer Belokopitsky ran Division I track at SUNY Albany.
Probationary Police Officer Nicholas Atsaves earned the highest firearms proficiency score.
Probationary Police Officer Kenneth Steiger received the award for Exceptional Police Duty. Officer Steiger helped save the life of a two-year-old boy in Manhattan who was choking on candy and turning blue, in October. Using the training he received in the Police Academy, Officer Steiger took the child into his arms, turned him over, and performed a series of back-slaps, finger sweeps, and chest compressions using his thumbs. The child began to breathe, and Officer Steiger put him into a responding patrol car which transported the aided and his father to Bellevue Hospital, where he was found to be in good condition.
Probationary Police Officer Michelle Maldonado received the Outstanding Company Sergeant award. She previously served in the Army Military Police Corps.
Probationary Police Officer Kenia Acosta received the Community Service Award for her volunteerism with various organizations which work in support of autistic individuals and victims of breast cancer, juvenile diabetes and kidney disease.
Countries of Origin
Antigua & Barbuda
Hong Kong (China)
Bosnia And Herzegovina
Saint Vincent and The Grenadines
Trinidad & Tobago