Nearly 1,400 new NYPD recruits were sworn in Thursday, representing a surge of new officers entering the police academy as part of an increase in department strength authorized last year by City Hall.
The officers, who will spend the next six months training at the new NYPD academy facility in College Point, Queens, received hearty welcomes from Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner William Bratton during a brief ceremony at Queens College.
As he has often done with new academy classes, Bratton reminisced about his days as a young cop on the beat in Boston, where he had just seven weeks of training before he hit the street, armed with a six-shot revolver, six spare rounds of ammunition and a parking ticket book.
“God, would I give anything to start it all over again,” Bratton told the recruits.
The latest class of 1,365 candidates includes the largest number of recruits in academy history from a demographic group historically underrepresented in the NYPD — Asian-American females.
Overall, the class is 51 percent white, 30 percent Hispanic, 14 percent black and 6 percent Asian, with 2 percent of the new officers from other ethnic groups, an NYPD spokesman said.
“It pretty closely resembles the overall composition of the NYPD,” department spokesman Stephen Davis said of the class.
By June, the NYPD expects to have 2,000 more cops on the street than in the summer of 2014. Smaller classes are expected in the future because the NYPD will be at its authorized strength of 36,000.
Last year de Blasio and the City Council agreed to hire just over 1,300 more cops. Around the time of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the NYPD had more than 41,000 sworn officers, the most ever.