32 cadets celebrate graduation from the Wilmington Police Academy in front of hundreds at the Chase Center in Wilmington.
A crowd of hundreds filled with family, friends, former and current police officers, along with several elected officials helped celebrate the graduation of 32 cadets from the 94th Wilmington Police Academy. Two of the new officers will serve with the Harrington Police Department, the rest will stay in Wilmington.
Wilmington Mayor James Baker (D) told the graduates, and other elected officials in the room, he would love for them to have even more help on the streets. He says the city needs about twice its authorized force level. “That’s really what these young people have to do, they have to fill in what is not there,” Baker said. Baker added that unlike military forces, which serve a tour of duty and are replaced with others, police officers are in it for the long haul. “This work called policing is a very difficult job. Very few people can do it well, and those that we have who do their work often times are disrespected and not respected because of what they do,” Baker said.
While they may not get respect from some in the community, Wilmington Police Chief Michael Szczerba told the graduates that they would be welcomed into a family of blue. “You now have brothers and sisters in every city, in every state, and in every country across this globe,” Szczerba said. He said the job of a police officer won’t bring monetary wealth or a lot of material things, “However the wealth that you will gain in this profession is measured in the work that you do to make life safe for people in all walks of life.”
Recently retired federal court Judge for the District of Delaware Joseph Farnan gave the keynote address at Friday’s graduation ceremony. He told the graduates they face high expectations. They are expected to respond to emergencies as quickly as possible, as safely as possible. “When they get there, we expect them to be a Constitutional lawyer, a criminal lawyer, a social scientist trained in psychology… We expect them to be a mediator of high ability. We expect them to be an accomplished self defense artist.” Farnan says, “It’s an awful lot to ask for folks, but this academy has trained these officers, and the officers going to the Harrington Police Department to be just that kind of person.”