January 22, 2016 – A Los Angeles Police Academy graduation ceremony was held this morning at the LAPD Administration Building plaza.
Today’s ceremony featured 25 graduates. All recruits have completed 920 hours of training over the course of 24 weeks. The recruits appeared before Chief Charlie Beck, Department command staff, city officials and hundreds of spectators.
In his speech, Chief Beck thanked family members and friends in attendance for trusting their loved ones on their decision to enter the profession of law enforcement. “It’s a tough time to be a cop in America,” said the chief. “It takes a tough person; it takes an even tougher family.” As always, he emphasized the importance of how character, instilled and maintained by a recruit’s family, is the single most significant factor to ensure a successful career as a law enforcement officer.
To the graduates, Chief Beck talked about the question he always asks recruits during his inspection of the them near the beginning of the ceremony. As he walks through the rows of new officers standing at attention, he asks each of them why they decided to become an LAPD officer. “You gave me 25 different answers, all of them good, all of them relevant, all of them on point,” said the chief. “You write down what you told me. You put it on a piece of paper in your own handwriting, and you keep it some place where you’ll see it every day. I want you to look at that piece of paper and remember why you are here, and always be true to that.”
Continuing to address the recruits directly, Chief Beck stressed that all LAPD officers must make the city safer and build public trust. “Those are not two separate things,” he said. “Because the public’s perception of police has more to do with crime than anybody had ever imagined in the past, and you define the LAPD in everything you do, on duty or off duty. I demand that you treat people fairly, and I demand that you treat them well.” Chief Beck closed as he always does, by promising to protect and serve the new officers as they protect and serve the City of Los Angeles.
Recruits will start their new jobs almost immediately, as many will be deployed in the field at their respective LAPD divisions beginning as soon as Sunday, January 24. Abiding by tradition, at the end of the ceremony, recruits recited their class chant and tossed their caps high into the air, celebrating their training achievements and visions of success as LAPD’s newest officers.
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