New York 1 News
October 9, 2015

Latest NYPD Class Begins Journey at New Academy

By Dean Meminger

Hundreds of NYPD recruits were officially sworn in Thursday morning at the department's new police academy in College Point, Queens. 

This was the first class to be sworn in at the facility.

Back in June, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council agreed on a budget that increases the police department by an additional 1,300 officers. 

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said the officers will be on the streets training with the community.

"A number of them are actually going out into the field where for several weeks they will work in a precinct that they will ultimately be assigned to where they will learn about the precinct. They will spend a day with a sergeant, they will spend a day in each of the functions of the precinct," Bratton said.

"These new officers are going to be trained in a way that's more effective. They're gonna be trained how to get the job done with the least possible use of force. Rigorous, the job has to get done, crime has to be stopped. But we want that close bond with community. And we want to answer the concerns of so many New Yorkers who have felt there was unnecessary use of force and obviously that alienated many New Yorkers from their police force," de Blasio said.

Of the roughly 680 member class, 46 percent are white; 13 percent are black; 32 percent are Hispanic and nine percent are Asian.

The swearing in represented the start of a buildup requested by the police commissioner and approved by the mayor and the City Council when they adopted a city budget in June. The police commissioner says by the end of next year, those additional 1,300 officers will be on the city's streets.

With the extra head count, there will be nearly 36,000 officers on the force. The police union, though, continues to say that's not enough. It wants to see 40,000 officers, like the NYPD had 15 years ago.

"We have to go back to the numbers of safe streets, safe cities, which gave us enough police officers to proactively go after the crime. That's what saved this city," said PBA President Pat Lynch.

The mayor and police commissioner say the NYPD is now better equipped to keep crime down while trying to improve community relations.