It was a night when recruits became officers as Connecticut’s newest police officers were sworn in on Friday.
Twenty eight new recruits from five different police departments graduated from the Hartford police academy.
“It’s surreal but we did it. We made it,” said Hartford Police recruit Abriana Diana, who is now officially an officer.
This class is among the most diverse, according to interim Hartford Police Chief Jason Thody. He says this class is 50 percent female and 75 percent from an ethnic background.
“Why is diversity important?” he said during his address to the candidates. “Because everything turns out better when people are more comfortable and common ground creates more comfort.”
Hartford’s program is a satellite operation for the Connecticut Police Academy, providing a high level standard training process for several surrounding towns.
“We want to provide at least that basic level of structure to all of our recruits even recruits going to other departments,” said Hartford Police Officer Tyrell Jenkins.
Training lasts nearly seven months, challenging recruits intellectually and physically.
“Toward the end, it got exciting,” said Connor Wyllie, who will work for the Enfield Police Department. “We came together as a family. And we got through it together.”
Next, recruits will go through 13 weeks of field training with the departments they were hired by. This followed by a career serving and protecting the communities of Connecticut.
West Hartford Officer Andrew Freitas graduated at the top of this class and is looking forward to the future.
“I just expect it to be a learning experience for the next 25 years and I just hope I can stay safe and just continue to learn and be successful.”