Thirty newly graduated officers of the New Haven Police Department are wrapping up their first week on the job, the latest in a major expansion over the next year and a half.
The new officers, who graduated from the police academy last Friday, made their debut Sunday night on the late night shift and have each been paired up with a veteran officer, said city spokeswoman Jessica Mayorga.
“The community has wanted more officers out there,” she said. “So with these 30 new officers, we have more of an impact.”
After a screening process with physical fitness tests, written exams, interviews and polygraph tests, the recruits went through months of job training.
Despite the addition of the new officers, the NHPD still has vacancies to fill, as the city had initially hoped to graduate 45 new officers this year and 90 new officers total over the next year and a half. During the most recent recruitment phase, the NHPD had fewer applicants than in previous years, following a nation-wide trend.
The drive to increase New Haven’s police force is part of a public safety initative announced by Mayor John DeStefano Jr. last year. Under DeStefano’s $1 million plan, the city seeks to increase its emphasis on community policing and expand its force to 490 officers, the largest in Connecticut.
The NHPD is currently accepting applicants through Sept. 21.