Schenectady County

Schenectady swears in five new police officers

Police Chief Mark Chaires noted the five recruits had passed the department's rigorous testing and h

Douglas D. Smith was surrounded by family this afternoon, his 2-year-old daughter Ava in his arms.

The 33-year-old former construction worker had just made a career switch from building to law enforcement.

He was one of five sworn in as Schenectady’s newest police officers. He starts training at the academy Wednesday.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and I had the opportunity to get into it,” Smith, the oldest of the five recruits, said after the ceremony.

Mayor Brian U. Stratton swore in the recruits at City Hall. The hirings put the department back at 162 members. With expected grants, there is room for 166.

Officials pointed out that they could have hired nine officers for this class. But the five hired were the ones that met the department’s higher standards.

The department has had to be extra careful with its hiring in an effort to avoid problems of the past.

Police Chief Mark Chaires noted that as he announced that the five new officers had passed the department’s rigorous testing and hiring process.

“Each one of them had a special talent that would make us a better department,” Chaires said. “Only these five made the grade.”

Also sworn in today were: Andrew R. MacDonald, 25, of Ballston Lake; Brandon M. Shepler, 22, of Schenectady; Christopher M. Wilgocki, 22, of Schenectady; and Robert A. Young, Jr., 28, of Scotia.

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