The Jersey City Police Department swore in 17 new officers at a City Hall ceremony this afternoon, with officials boasting that the PD reflects the city’s diversity now more than ever.
By Daniel Ulloa/Hudson County View
“It’s great to see these new people complete their training and bolster the ranks of the Jersey City Police Department. We’re very proud of them and their families,” Mayor Steven Fulop said.
“We’re not only growing the department in size, but we’re also recruiting quality candidates from within the community that best reflects Jersey City’s diversity. I have complete confidence the officers sworn in today will be tremendous assets to further build upon our overall commitment to the safety and quality of life for our entire community.”
He also said that over 70 percent of the graduates represent various minority populations as part of his administration’s emphasis on diversity recruitment.
“We’re going to work on accountability, transparency, building community relationships,” he said.
“I’m very excited in this day and age, with policing being the way it is, to see 17 strong individuals ready to take the challenge,” added Police Director Tawana Moody.
She noted training the new cadets can be developed into model officers, as well as that they have not been assigned duties yet.
Moody also noted they still need to complete further training for two weeks on computer and radio equipment before they are sent out into the field.
“They’re going to be training for the rest of their career. The more you train someone the better they become,” she said.
“It’s very important that they be comfortable with the job they have. With the way things are changing in policing it’s very important that to keep them, you know, upfront in what’s going on.”
Furthermore, she emphasized that the officers serve as a bridge to the community.
“It’s important to me that the bridge is there. It’s exciting for me to be a part of it.”
“Our diversity recruitment efforts have already proven to be immensely helpful when our officers are responding to people’s homes for emergencies, for establishing community relations, and for residents’ overall quality of life,” noted Public Safety Director James Shea.
“We recognize there is still plenty of more work that needs to be done to combat crime, and these are the types of initiatives that are leading us in the right direction.”
John Blackwell, the president of the Police Academy class, said they are “ready to navigate these trying times all while working to keep our beautiful city and its citizens safe.
“Times are certainly not easy to be in this chosen career.We will undoubtedly need your strength and your shoulders to lean on when times and situations are tough,” Blackwell said to the assembled audience of families and well-wishers.
One of the 17 new police officers is Greenville native Denzell Leitch, who expressed excitement about his new career.
“It was always something I was trying for since I was a kid. So I could give back to my community. It’s a blessing and such a special day today that I am able to do so.
He further state he is eager to connect with the community.
“Let them see me as an officer, and you know you fill that gap between the neighborhood and the department, you know, I think will make a major difference.”
Footage of the ceremony was streamed live on our Facebook page and can be viewed below: