Bridgeport Welcomes 17 New Police Officers

This article originally appeared in Bridgeport Patch.

 

The city has added a total of 100 new officers since 2015.

BRIDGEPORT, CT — Since December 2015, Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim has sought to add 100 new police officers to the city's ranks, and with the hiring of 17 officers this week, Bridgeport has reached that goal, according to Ganim and Bridgeport Police Chief A.J. Perez.

In addition to the recruits, the most recent Bridgeport Police Department graduating class of 22 officers also hit the streets this week, an increase to the department that will allow Chief Perez to "adequately assign officers to fill cars on patrol, and more effectively provide community policing details in city neighborhoods."

"The Police Department serves a major function in any city and the only way they can properly do their job is with the manpower," said Ganim in a statement. "It has been my commitment to replenish the Police Department so that we can continue to improve public safety in Bridgeport for our residents and for our schools. This new class brings us to our goal."

Added Perez, "I am thankful to have a Mayor that understands the importance of fully equipped force. We not only have a competent and capable team but a team devoted to Bridgeport that understands the needs of our community. These recruits could have applied anywhere but they chose our city because they want to make a difference."

Additionally, Chief Perez has also issued a request among the department for nine additional School Resource Officers (SRO) to improve school safety.

From a City of Bridgeport release:

The recruits will also be required to participate in various community interactive days in order to begin to forge relationships with the public. This would include spending an afternoon in Bridgeport Public Schools to interact with students. Once complete, the officers-in-training will get three months of hands-on experience in the field.

The officers-to-be are well underway in their training having passed the entrance exam, a physical exam, and a background check. This diverse class includes six Hispanics, four African Americans and four females. The recruits are now in their second week of training and have to complete, at least, 26 more weeks. During their six months at the Bridgeport Police Academy, recruits will undergo rigorous physical testing and classes on policing concepts. They will be continually gauged in their learning process via test scores and application through practical exercises.

All 17 recruits are anticipated to graduate in a ceremony at the end of September 2018.

This article originally appeared in Bridgeport Patch.