It's no secret that the Utica Police Department is understaffed. Instead of the recommended 163 officers, the department has 127. But all that changed today... 22 police officer recruits were sworn in today. With the promise of much-needed manpower for the UPD.
"These new recruits are bringing energy, enthusiasm, motivation, and obviously the technology has changed and the world has changed and these new recruits are going to adjust extremely well," said Mayor Robert Palmieri.
The UPD has been faced with budget cuts and mass retirements - leaving them in the position that required welcoming the highest number of recruits in history. Each recruit was put through a rigorous interview process-- and now they're starting a new chapter in their lives.
"I'm very excited to go to the police academy next week and looking forward to starting with the Utica Police Department," said Daniel Mahaffy, a new recruit from Boonville. On completion of their training - the UPD will be infused with new officers and bottom line - a more prominent police presence on Utica streets.
"The community is growing and there is especially a need for good training to keep our public safe and to keep the community safe that we all can help out each other in times of need," Zachary Miller, of the Lady of Lourdes Church.
Being an officer of the law can be a thankless, dangerous job, and sometimes the target of scrutiny. But that's not fazing the new recruits.
"I'm proud to be serving the city of Utica, this is right in the area where I grew up so I'm proud to be here," said Mahaffy.
And every one at the ceremony today - parents, friends, and city officials are proud to have him.
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