January 23, 2015 – A Los Angeles Police Academy graduation ceremony was held this morning at the LAPD Administration Building plaza.
Today’s ceremony featured 25 graduates. Two will be officers for Los Angeles World Airports. All recruits have completed 920 hours of training over the course of 24 weeks. In full uniform and ready to receive their diplomas, the recruits proudly appeared before Department command staff, including Chief Charlie Beck, city officials and hundreds of spectators.
Attending graduation ceremonies is a high priority for Chief Beck. A primary topic of his speech focused on the difference between legal and moral authority. “I’m giving you the legal authority,” he said. “You must earn the moral authority.” Chief Beck went on to explain how legal authority is given to officers by the state, but moral authority is created and bestowed by the people. He pointed out that moral authority is based on a belief that officers will “do the right thing” in their displays of fairness, empathy and compassion, because no human being is perfect. As always, among other themes, he also talked about the importance of an officer’s character and how it’s instilled in graduates through life-long support from family and friends.
Recruits will be expected to hit the ground running almost immediately, as many will be deployed in the field at their respective LAPD divisions beginning as soon as this Sunday, January 25. Maintaining a long-standing Department tradition at the end of the ceremony, recruits vigorously recited their class chant and tossed their caps high into the air, symbolizing their success at the academy and the promise of a rewarding career as LAPD police officers.
To hear Police Chief Charlie Beck address the new class, click here Download COP Grad Speech 1-23-15