UTICA, NY (WUTR-TV) — On Friday, the Utica Police Department sworn in 14 new officers at Hanna Park.
For 31-year-old Beco Agicic, it has been a life-long dream to become a police officer. “It’s been a long and tough journey and just preparation and stuff for it,” says Agicic. Agicic is originally from Bosnia and moved to Utica when he was 11-years-old. Now, Agigic is excited to go to the academy and officially start his career.
“[Swearing in] was supposed to be a class what started sometime in April. What end up happening was because of covid-19, as you see, it almost got delayed to July now,” says Police Chief Mark Williams. Now these 14 recruits will undergo 24 weeks of Academy Training followed by 12 weeks of Field Training.
The chief says it’s a challenge to find recruits. “[of what we saw] with the George Floyd, homicide, we saw that it was already difficult to recruit as it was,” says Williams. “We can’t all be judged on one person’s actions, I believe there’s too many good officers here, I am sure in every state, not just here — all around the countries,” says Agicic.
The Utica Police Department has faced an officer shortage for over a year. This new class will fill in most positions. “[Now] one currently down, and there will be a transfer that we’re going to hire some point next week when we get all the paperwork all done. So we’re actually going to be hiring 15 and what’s nice. The one that we’ll be adding he’s already a certified police officer and we can add him right to the streets,” says Williams.
The 14 new recruits are: Beco Agicic, Edgardo Colon, Daniel Forte, Colin Madia, Angelo Marroccolo, Craig Maret, Michael McGovern, Bryce Patterson, Drew Putrello, Jariel Rodriguez, Alexander Sperling, Andrew Taft, Karissa Tibbits.