February 20, 2015 – A Los Angeles Police Academy graduation ceremony was held this morning at the LAPD Administration Building plaza.
Today’s ceremony featured 39 graduates. Four 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 anxiously awaiting receipt of their diplomas, the recruits proudly appeared before Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Chief Charlie Beck and command staff, and hundreds of spectators.
Chief Beck places a high priority on attending recruit graduation ceremonies as an opportunity to thank, inform, and congratulate LAPD’s newest officers. He also thanked the countless family members and friends who have supported the new officers. A special feature of Chief Beck’s speech was the introduction of his personal guest, former LAPD Chief and current Councilmember Bernard C. Parks. Councilmember Parks was the Department’s chief from 1997 to 2002 and joined the LAPD in 1965, a tumultuous time for the city because of the Watts Riots in August of that year. As part of his speech, Councilmember Parks reminded the recruits that being a part of LAPD is truly a career, and each new officer has an “obligation to make the LAPD better from the day you join than any time in (the Department’s) past.”
Chief Beck resumed his comments by thanking the family and friends of the graduates for shaping the character of each new officer. Chief Beck said: “Character isn’t just one thing; it’s the only thing.” Chief Beck also emphasized that legal authority is given to officers by the state, but moral authority is created and bestowed by the people of Los Angeles out of respect, trust, and the belief officers will “do the right thing” by always displaying fairness in how they treat people. In closing, Chief Beck promised family members, to the best of his ability, he would “protect and serve” the new recruits as their careers develop.
Recruits will be on patrol in their respective LAPD divisions as soon as this coming Sunday, February 22. As always, at the end of the graduation, the recruits vigorously recited their class chant and ceremoniously tossed their caps high into the air, symbolizing their success at the police academy and the promise of a rewarding career as LAPD police officers.