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Schenectady welcomes diverse class of police recruits

Schenectady welcomes diverse class of police recruits

Chief: It's a step toward making force 'more reflective of the community'
Schenectady welcomes diverse class of police recruits
A police recruit class from February 2016; this year will include two men of Guyanese descent, two women and one Hispanic man.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber

SCHENECTADY — The city will swear in 14 new police recruits during a ceremony on Friday, a class that will include two men of Guyanese descent, two women and one Hispanic man.

Police Chief Eric Clifford said the hiring of the officers will help in terms of reducing overtime. But with the diverse new class of officers, he said it’s also an effort to make sure the department is “more reflective of the community.”

RELATED: Police dominate Schenectady's top-10 earners list

Clifford said five of the 14 recruits are city residents, and two of those five are minorities.

“It’s important for gaining the public’s trust,” Clifford said. “And for the public seeing the police department as an extension of themselves, and the community as an extension of the police department.”

There is a community of people from Guyana, a country in South America, living in the city. People from Guyana descend from many places, including India and the Caribbean. Clifford said that the two new officers of Guyanese descent — one an immigrant and the other born and raised in the area — are black.

The new recruits who will be sworn in will go directly into the police academy. After they graduate, they will be required to go through field training and a probationary period.

The ceremony will be held at 10:30 a.m. in the rotunda of City Hall.

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