The NYPD welcomed 781 new officers to the force on July 2 at a ceremony held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The officers have completed six months of training at the Police Academy, and were deployed over the July 4 weekend.
“There is nothing that inspires more hope or confidence in the Police Department than a Police Academy graduation, and the graduates are the reason why,” Commissioner Ray Kelly said. “Though you come from 49 countries and speak 40 languages, you share the same aspirations. You want to make a difference.”
Mayor Bloomberg cited record lows for murders and shootings in 2012, standards the city is on a pace to break with six months to go in 2013.
“The members of this department are the reason New York can rightly call itself the nation’s safest big city,” Bloomberg told his new officers. “The job our newest officers have chosen is one of the toughest, most demanding and most important there is, and no one does that job better than our men and women in blue.”
A joint statement issued by Bloomberg and Kelly said more than 45 percent of the new officers have college degrees, including 31 who hold advanced degrees.
More than 10 percent are military veterans, and 41 have previously served the city in capacities including school safety agents, traffic enforcement agents and in various other capacities within the NYPD while attending college.
Among the recipients of individual honors in the class was Probationary Police Officer Kayan Dawkins of Jamaica, who received the First Deputy Commissioner’s Award. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Lehman College, and is a former emergency medical technician and FDNY paramedic.
“As you officially assume your duties, remember what the public gives you: their trust,” Kelly said. “We earn it day by day, officer by officer, action by action. We look to you to honor this trust in everything you do, and to safeguard the public, just as a number of you have already done.”