New York’s Finest welcomed 616 new members to their ranks on June 30 as a new class of officers graduated from the Police Academy in ceremonies held at Madison Square Garden.
The probationary officers’ first assignments were expected to be during the July 4 weekend.
“You make us proud to be New Yorkers, to see so many wonderful men and women step forward to take on this most important of roles in New York City,” Mayor de Blasio said. “So I hope you’re feeling the pride in what you have achieved. You know your family members and friends who have filled Madison Square Garden to salute you are feeling so much today.
“Everyone is proud and everyone’s feeling purposeful, because your arrival on the scene lets us know that there’s more talent coming to make this city safe — safer than ever, in fact.”
Commissioner Bill Bratton saluted their courage, and told them they will need that and more with the challenges they will face in their careers.
“With the lessons of your academy experience behind you, I’m confident you’ll succeed,” Bratton said. He asked his new charges to keep four priorities in mind.
“First, take pride in yourself, your organization and your profession,” Bratton said. “As police officers, you have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others every day. That is a privilege to be cherished.
“Second, strive to maintain the commitment that brought you here today,” Bratton added. “Always keep up your quest to improve. If you do, I guarantee you’ll excel and have a great career. Third, respect your job. Respect your fellow officers. And respect the public you serve. Finally, demonstrate integrity in everything you do.”
Probationary Officers William Lynch and Elena Malchevsky were the class valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, with the top two highest class averages.
Among the other award recipients were Probationary Officers Michael Berardi, Eze Small and Thomas Szenczy who received the Commanding Officer, Police Academy Award for helping arrest two alleged robbers in Manhattan in February.
The three were en route to the Police Academy when they saw two men running in their direction.
They were then approached by a woman who said that one of the men had stolen her cell phone.
They gave chase and apprehended both men a short time later.
The new officers were born in 49 countries on five continents, according to a statement issued by the NYPD.
More than half are college graduates, and 25 have advanced degrees. Seventy-one have served in the United States military.