The Cincinnati Police Department is celebrating the completion of its first recruit class in more than six years.
56 officers and one firefighter who took the 26-week training courses received their commissions Friday during a ceremony in Downtown Cincinnati at The Masonic Center. They will now spend the next 13 weeks with training officers.
The class valedictorian was James Hutchings, who is currently a Cincinnati Firefighter. He went thru police training to be a sworn officer inside the fire department. Hutchings had this advice to his fellow graduates.
“The profession that you’ve chosen isn’t about you, it’s not about vacation time or paychecks or recognition,” Hutchings said. “It’s about service. If it ever becomes about self, the integrity of the profession will have been sacrificed and dishonored.”
Before hitting the streets, the newest police officers will spend next week volunteering helping young children, the elderly and the homeless.
Chief Jeffrey Blackwell told the class to do the right thing.
“Everything that you do is about relationship,” Blackwell said. “It’s about building relationships that are authentic and transparent with the people of Cincinnati.”
The class has 20 recruits who served in the military and 31 of them have some sort of college degree.
Mayor John Cranley and City Manager Harry Black also addressed the graduates during the ceremony. Both are promising additional police recruit classes to replenish the ranks of the department. Some 150 officers have retired in the last several years when hiring was suspended because of budget shortfalls.