Thursday, August 6, 2009

138th Entrant Officer Class graduates tonight

These 27 men and women are why we rejoiced last week when we got word that KCPD would get a federal grant to save their jobs. They are the 138th Entrant Officer Class. They graduate from the Police Academy tonight and will be on the streets with their training officers beginning Sunday, August 9.

In January 2009, we offered 35 people the chance to enter the Kansas City Police Academy. Due to the looming city budget situation, we told them that they may not have a job come May 1. Thirty-one of them agreed to stay anyway. We stretched our dollars to keep them through their graduation date, but as few as two weeks before that, they still didn’t know whether they’d have a job when it was done. But they held out hope. One, Entrant Officer Christopher Garcia, said, “I honestly thought that a plan would be worked out, and we would be able to keep our positions in some capacity.”

Twenty-seven of them made it through the Academy, and they will receive their diplomas and badges tonight. They’re not taking that for granted. Entrant Officer Brian O’Conner said, “I’m truly thankful for the men and women who have been working so hard and fighting to keep our class. I will be giving everything I have for them because they worked so hard for me.”

I am proud to be able to keep these men and women on the police force. They are the future of law enforcement in this city and could be coming to help you or someone you love someday.

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