(Bridgeport, CT – Feb 1, 2013) -- Twenty-eight new police officers were sworn in during ceremonies held in Bridgeport City Council Chambers Friday evening after completing more than six months of training at the Bridgeport police training academy.
Nineteen members of Recruit Class #35 will begin field training in Bridgeport. Nine officers from other area departments also completed training and will join their respective departments.
“Public safety is my number-one priority,” said Mayor Finch. “Congratulations to these new police officers, their hard work in the Academy has paid off and they will hit the ground running after several months of training. Thanks to the training academy, we know these officers will be our ambassadors to the community and will work hard to keep our residents safe. We have to thank Congressman Himes for assisting us in securing this additional funding to add 19 officers to our force.”
“When you put your hand up and take the oath, you are assuming an awesome responsibility of upholding the law and protecting our citizens. You will become the backbone of our community policing efforts,” said Police Chief Joseph L. Gaudett Jr. “When you put on that uniform and badge as a Bridgeport police officer, how you conduct yourself reflects on all of us. Make us proud. Get to know your community. Remember your training.”
One of the newest officers started with the Bridgeport Police Activities League when he was about 10. Carlos Pabon got to know Dave Rivera, who went on to become a Bridgeport police officer himself, through his years at PAL, an experience that solidified his goal to become a police officer. His uncle Joe Morales is a police sergeant here also.
“I was born and raised in Bridgeport. I had the chance at other departments but with my uncle and PAL, Bridgeport Police was the perfect fit for me,” said Pabon, 23. “I’m proud to be able to put on the uniform and hopefully make a difference one day.”
The officers were hired with funding provided by the federal Community Oriented Policing Services of $5.6 million dollars received by the City 2011. The grant provides 100-percent of the salary and benefits for the 20 entry-level officer positions over a three-year period. Awards were made on a competitive
basis and are administered by the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) through the federal agency’s COPS Hiring Recovery Program.
The class began their training in July 2012. During their six months in the academy, recruits completed a state-mandated curriculum established by the Connecticut Police Officer Standards and Training Council as well as community oriented projects.
Community projects included reading to classes of fourth graders and serving food to the homeless and unemployed.
Check out photos from Friday night's graduation on Mayor Bill Finch's Facebook page.
Here are the people who are graduating:
Bridgeport Police: Anthony J. Caiazzo, Juan C. Esquilin, Anthony Gianpoalo, Matthew Goncalves
Keith W. Hanson, Eric J. Holder, Donald D. Matejek Jr, Michael A. Mazzacco, Stavros Mirtsopoulos,
Luis M. Moura, Michael P. Neumahr, Michael A. Novia, Daniel J. Orlich III, Joshua Ortiz, Carlos Pabon Jr.,
Codey Remy, Ian T. Schumaker, Marcus A. Teixeira and John Topolski
Milford Police: Kyle D. Magnan
Stratford Police: Matthew K. Ackerman, John J. Facto II, Marc H. Halper, Kyle C. Lavin
Norwalk Police: Kelly M. Hollister
Naugatuck Police: Taylor H. Field, Anthony Mistretta
North Branford: Corey Lemmons