LINCOLN, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island State Police now has 37 new troopers.
The 2019 State Police Training Academy graduated Friday during a commencement ceremony at the Community College of Rhode Island’s Lincoln campus.
RI State Police Superintendent Col. James Manni said this year’s class is the most diverse class in the 94-year history of the department.
After one or two weeks off, he says the new troopers will get right to work.
“We badly need the manpower in this state,” he said. “They’re really going to enhance the safety for all the citizens of this state.”
The new troopers received their assignments last week. Manni said one of the biggest challenges the new troopers, and police in general, across America have to face is ensuring they have the trust of the people.
“Hopefully this class and with the integrity of the state police, we will never have that issue here in the state of Rhode Island,” Manni said.
Gov. Gina Raimondo congratulated each trooper as they walked across the stage. She addressed the class and said being a police officer is a much harder job now than it’s ever been before.
“The challenges are greater than they’ve ever been and I want you to know we’re grateful to you for stepping up to serve,” she said.
According to Rhode Island State Police, there are seven female, eight black and 6 Hispanic troopers in this year’s class.
“It’s always been our goal to recruit a class that reflects the community we serve and this class definitely reflects the community of Rhode Island,” Manni said.
The graduation comes after a 24-week training academy. The class came out of an initial applicant pool of roughly 1,500 people.