Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today presided over a graduation ceremony for 838 new police officers at St. John’s University. The graduates have completed more than six months of intensive training at the Police Academy and will be assigned to Operation Impact, the program that pairs rookie officers with experienced supervisors and deploys them to targeted high-crime areas.
“To the members of the graduating class – congratulations. The badge you’ll wear represents a sacred trust: it’s into your hands that this city places responsibility for its safety and security,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “As you well know, that trust that has been rewarded like never before over the last decade. The heroic efforts of men and women of the NYPD have driven nearly every category of crime to historic lows – at a time when the department has to spread its resources to combat the continuing threat of terrorism. A generation ago, that would have been unimaginable. Now, New Yorkers expect it – and they should. These are enormous responsibilities. They require courage, intelligence, and a tremendous amount of hard work. That’s why only the best of the best make it to graduation day to become members of the NYPD. And that’s why we’re proud to call you New York’s Finest. You’ve got a very high standard to live up to and I have no doubt you will.”
“Today is a pivotal moment in your lives and in the life of New York City,” said Commissioner Kelly. “Crime is down 34 percent since 2001, before we took on the added demand of counterterrorism. The murder rate has been driven down to its lowest level in five decades. And together with our Federal partners, the Police Department has helped defeat 14 terrorist plots against New York City. We now look to you to help build on this legacy and to keep the city secure. You entered the Police Academy to learn. Now you go forth to serve. Next Wednesday, you’ll experience your first assignment as full-fledged police officers, helping to protect the more than one-million people who attend the New York City fireworks display on the Fourth of July. Let it mark the beginning of a great new career.”
Seventy graduates prepared for their careers in other positions within the New York City Police Department, as Police Cadets, School Safety Agents, Traffic Enforcement Agents or Police Communication Technicians. In addition, 58 previously served the U.S. military including in Iraq and Afghanistan. Approximately 24 percent of the graduates are Hispanic, 11 percent are black, 6 percent are Asian and 59 percent are white. Approximately 14 percent of the graduates are female.
Approximately 40 percent of the class holds college degrees: 322 earned bachelor’s degrees, 17 have a masters degree and one holds a juris doctor.
Probationary Police Officer Michael Lassen received the Mayor’s Award for highest overall average – combined academic, fitness and firearms scores; Probationary Police Officer Brian Lee achieved the second-highest overall average and is the recipient of the Police Commissioner’s Award. Probationary Police Officer Jonathan Korn apprehended a grand larcenist on the Long Island Railroad in March and was recognized with the Police Academy Award for Exceptional Police Duty.
Approximately 40 percent of the class, 337 recruits, speak a foreign language and 20 percent of the candidates were born outside the United States in 42 different countries:
Bosnia & Herzegovina
China (includes Hong Kong)
St. Vincent & Grenadines
Trinidad & Tobago
United Arab Emirates