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Nassau police dept. swears in largest class of officers in more than 20 years

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and Acting Nassau County Police Commissioner Thomas C. Krumpter swore in 200 new police recruits, on Oct. 16, 2015 in East Garden City. This is the largest class of new recruits in more than 20 years. Of the new hires, 188 will join the ranks of the Nassau County Police Department. (Credit: Jim Staubitser)

The Nassau County Police Department Friday swore in 183 officers, its largest graduating class in more than 20 years, officials said.

The new officers, who gathered for a ceremony at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City, will begin patrols in spring after seven months of intensive training.

Among those joining the force is Taylor Nardo, 22, who said she's wanted to be a cop since she was a child.

Her fascination with law enforcement was kindled at home by the true crime stories recited by her parents -- both of whom are Nassau police detectives.

"It was just part of my blood," said Nardo, who studied criminal justice at the University at Albany-SUNY.

Robert Nardo was still smiling more than an hour after the ceremony. The 30-year veteran said watching his oldest child raise her right hand and get sworn in "gave me goose bumps, and made me extremely proud of my little girl."

The family has a photo of 3-year-old Taylor trying to wear her mother's uniform that looks comical, but now seems prophetic.

Jeanette Nardo said she encouraged her daughter to apply as a teenager. When Taylor was in college, mom sent daily texts reminding Taylor to stay in shape to survive the rigors of the police academy.

"She's very street-smart. She's book-smart. She will do great," Jeanette Nardo said Friday.

The big class of cadets helps the 2,200-officer department replenish its ranks after a wave of retirements.

Acting Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter said this month that 120 Nassau officers have retired so far this year, and at least 70 more are expected to retire in the next couple of months. There were 135 retirements in 2014.

Officials said 156 of the new officers are male and 27 are female. Eleven of the recruits are African-American and 13 are Hispanic. Fifty-six have prior law enforcement experience; 14 served in the military.

Eight additional recruits will join the Nassau County Sheriff's Department, officials said.

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