NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — After taking the oath, the newest recruits for New Haven Police began their months-long training Monday to become sworn officers with the department. Interim Chief Anthony Campbell addressed the recruits about the importance of community policing in the city, and vowed to ingrain new officers with that philosophy.
“Going out in the community and connecting with people is by far the most important thing we can ever do,” Campbell said. “I want them to understand that they have to connect with this community.”
Campbell said for this class of 30, next-generation policing has changed and that strict law enforcement will only account for about 10 to 15 percent of their job on the streets. For Campbell, pro-active policing means engaging with people on a more human level when arriving on scene.
“To be an effective New Haven Police officer, in my opinion, to be an effective police officer in 21st century policing, you have to connect with the community you’re policing,” Campbell said.
This is the most diverse recruitment class in the last five years. Of the 30 future New Haven officers, 63 percent are women and minorities and 17 of them live in the City of New Haven. They’ll spend their first year walking a beat in one of the city’s 10 policing districts, getting to know the locals and learning how to work within a community.
“Getting to know those people in the neighborhood, develop a sense of trust that we know needs to be there with police officers if they are to do jobs well and keep us safe,” said New Haven Mayor Toni Harp.
Retirement has hurt the city, and New Haven is about 40 officers short of their budgeted goal. This new class will help close that gap.
The training lasts about seven months and the recruits should be ready for the streets by May. The next recruitment campaign will begin in February.