Springfield Police Academy Graduates 22 Patrolmen

After six weeks of training in law, ethics firearms and physical fitness, 22 men and women graduated last week from the Springfield Police Academy and will begin their work as police officers tomorrow.

There was a diverse group of men and women who come from all different races and backgrounds, including college graduates, former military personnel, long-term residents and newcomers looking for a fresh start.

Melissa Rodriguez, a former police cadet who elected president of the class said “I truly believe they could not have put a better group of people together”.

Academy Director Captain Harry Kastrinakis agreed. He handed out the individual awards for academics, character, physical fitness and other accomplishments at the ceremony on Thursday. He noted that the cadets organized late-night study groups and helped each other reach their potential.

This graduation brings the police force to about 390 officers, but there are still a large number of vacancies, and although this will be the last class of the fiscal year, the state’s budget will determine when the next recruits can be hired.

On Sunday, the first 11 members will hit the street for a night shift followed by another five who will work the next ship and then the next five who will work days. For three months, each of the officers will be paired with a senior police officer for street training. They remain as rookies for a year and can be dismissed if they are not successful.

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