30 brand new police officers will be hitting the streets in New Haven starting Tuesday.
The group celebrated at a graduation Monday night at a time when the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve have been put to the test.
Officer David Simpson spent 16 years as a teacher. Now he wants to continue to make a difference as a new member of the New Haven Police Department.
"It feels great. I can't wait to be out there," Simpson said.
The officers were sworn in during last night's ceremony at Amistad High School.
"I know police officers, and I think it's an excellent profession," Officer Nicole Motzer said.
The new recruits spent seven months training, but they realize the hard work has just begun. "My biggest fear is the misconception given to police officers because we are out there to help people," Simpson explained.
"We're people too, and we can relate to them and have them understand what we're doing there is protecting them. We're on the same team," Motzer said.
According to acting police Chief Anthony Campbell, officers face new challenges like terrorism, long wolf attacks, and attacks on officers. Those difficulties is something the new officers will have to overcome with the right training and attitude.
"We have to teach them to be vigilant, but first and foremost practice community policing. They need to understand that, although they have to have a heightened level of vigilance, the community is someone that embraces them and supports them," Campbell said.
The officers officially get to work on Tuesday.
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