Graduation ceremony for Wilmington’s newest police officers [photos]

    Eighteen new Wilmington Police Academy graduates will begin their street patrols on Monday.

    Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki and Police Chief Bobby Cummings congratulated the officers at their graduation ceremony, held today at the Chase Center on the Riverfront.

    The addition of these new officers brings the total number of officers available for active service to 313 out of the 319 authorized police officer positions in Wilmington.

    “We thank the new officers for choosing a career that is of such importance to the citizens of Wilmington and to everyone who works in or visits our city,” Purzycki said. “It is a challenging job, it is a stressful job and, at times, it is an unforgiving job, but it is also one of the most rewarding ways to serve your fellow man. It takes courage, stamina and concern for others to be the best at protecting and defending our citizens and our communities.”

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    The latest police academy is one of the most diverse in recent years. Of the 18 new officers, seven are female, eight are African American and three are Hispanic. The new officers, some of whom do not live in Wilmington, are required to move to the city to comply with Wilmington’s five-year residency law.

    The new officers will begin their police duties on Monday. Each will be assigned to work with a more senior police officer for at least six months to develop experience on police patrols.

    Cummings said the focus of the focus of the 97th Police Academy was community-based service and the de-escalation of tense situations involving suspects, crowds and members of the community.

    The recruits also participated in a number of community events with students and conducted a very successful “breaking barriers/building relationships” event with citizens.

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