The Rochester Police Department welcomed 28 recruits Monday, including 16 minority members who make it the most diverse group in recent memory, officials said.
Police Chief James Sheppard administered the oath of office, with an academy class to begin Wednesday.
“The Rochester Police Department’s Background and Recruitment Unit has worked hard on finding the best of the best applicants to serve as members of the Rochester Police Department,” Sheppard said in a statement.
“We are excited that this academy class will have 28 recruits, in which 16 are minorities. The Rochester Police Department takes great pride in providing a police force that reflects the moral values and cultural backgrounds of the residents of our community.”
Minority representation in police academy classes has historically been below 25 percent, officials said.
The diversity of the 2012 class is the result of an extensive recruiting effort, officials said.
It included a centralized campaign coordinated by the city’s Bureau of Human Resource Management, an expanded police department recruiting team, collaboration between Rochester City Council and Rochester’s African American and Hispanic churches, an aggressive advertising campaign, and visits to job fairs and to college campuses, including five community colleges in Upstate New York.
“One of Rochester’s greatest strengths is the incredible diversity of its population, which brings together a wide range of experiences that enriches the lives of all our residents and visitors,” Mayor Thomas Richards said in the statement.
“It is critical that our police department reflect that diversity, and this academy class demonstrates a significant advancement toward that goal.”
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