Six recruits for the East Haven Police Department are about halfway through their training, and Chief Brent Larrabee says the new officers will be a big help.
The department has been short on personnel due to retirements, transfers and the arrests of four officers on federal civil rights charges.
Larrabee says current officers have been working 16-hour days, five or six days per week.
“It will be an enormous lifting of a burden for the average patrol officer. That means they’re not going to be forced to work. It will be a better environment for them,” said Larrabee.
The recruits come from diverse backgrounds and speak a variety of languages, which Larrabee says will serve as an asset for the department.
“We look for excellence first, and then if we happen to have someone who has a skill, or a language skill, that we need, it always works out best,” said Larrabee.
The recruits say they chose East Haven because of its size.
“I like the smaller towns because I get the chance to really be a friendly face in the community, someone that people recognize and see on a daily basis,” said recruit Dylan Northrop.
“I want a lot more personal interaction where the community knows me by name, opposed to just another officer,” explained Jonathan Andino, another recruit.
They’ll be out in the community sometime in the fall when they graduate from the academy and start field training.