The 38th New Castle County Police Recruit Academy gets underway today as 21 recruits for the County force and recruits from five other law enforcement agencies start their training.
The training program is expected to last about six months. 16 New Castle County police recruits graduated from the most recent police academy class in March of this year.
New Castle County Executive Paul Clark says the new recruit class continues his administration’s commitment to keeping the police force fully staffed despite the difficult economy. “We have put this hiring process on the fast track, even bringing in retired officers to conduct background checks, so we could get this class up and running and put more police on the street by next summer when we historically have a shortage due to vacations,” Clark said.
New Castle County Police Chief Scott McLaren said the recruits will be offered state-of-the-art training that includes innovative community policing strategies and problem-solving skills along with other mandated training. “We are looking forward to starting this diverse class that mirrors our community. Every effort has been made to hire the best of the best to serve the citizens of New Castle County.” McLaren said.
In addition to the New Castle County recruits, this year’s class includes one recruit each from the police departments of Dewey Beach, Middletown, Felton and the University of Delaware and one from the Dover Fire Marshal’s office.
By January the county police department expects to have added five pre-certified officers to the force, one each from police departments in Wilmington, Elsmere, Georgetown, Temple University and the Maryland State Police.
An additional six police officer positions funded by a federal grant the county received in September will be part of the next recruit academy, whose start date has yet to be determined.