PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Providence Police Department is welcoming 49 new members to their ranks.
On Saturday, the city celebrated the graduation of the 70th class of graduates from the Providence Police Academy.
Friends, family and local officials were all in attendance.
“You as recruits have received the most rigorous training process possible,” Mayor Jorge Elorza said.
A decorated class of men and women pledged to protect and serve the community.
According to officials, 55 percent of recruits are minorities and 24 recruits are bilingual, speaking 7 different languages from Spanish to Portuguese and even American Sign Language. There are 10 women in the new class.
They covered a wide variety of training over their 24 weeks, including legal training, weapons, emergency vehicle, report writing, and traffic law.
In that 812 hours they also learned extensive training in crisis response, mental health recognition, domestic violence issues, extensive diversity and LGBTQ compitency.
As the ceremony came to a close, Commissioner Steven Pare left recruits with this message. “I wish you happiness, you safety and health during your career at the Providence Police Department. Godspeed.”
The city has seen an increase in homicides in this year, the most in over a decade. Pare said these added officers will help increase patrols on the streets.