October 30, 2015 – A Los Angeles Police Academy graduation ceremony was held this morning at the LAPD Administration Building plaza.
Today’s ceremony featured 47 graduates. Three of the graduates were for Los Angeles World Airports and one was for the Port of Los Angeles. All recruits have completed 920 hours of training over the course of 24 weeks. Impeccably dressed in full uniform, the recruits appeared before hundreds of spectators, including Chief Charlie Beck, LAPD command staff and city officials.
Chief Beck places a high priority on attending recruit graduation ceremonies as an opportunity to thank, inform, and congratulate LAPD’s newest officers. Before he began his remarks, he paid tribute to Captain Michelle Veenstra with her 30-plus years of service to the Department. He commended her for many accomplishments, including her “great job as the commanding officer of recruit training” and her many other assignments. “She has been a great human being while doing it…and made a difference in people’s lives,” said Chief Beck.
Chief Beck went on to deliver the core of his address. As always, he talked about the importance of support from the many family members and friends of the new officers and thanked them for their efforts. “Remember,” said Chief Beck, “I understand each and every one of your worries, your sorrows, but also the joy that goes with being a parent and a loved one of a Los Angeles police officer. So thank you all.”
Speaking directly to the new recruits, Chief Beck touched on many topics. Among other things, he reminded them that their badges belong only to the people of Los Angeles. He emphasized that the individual character of each officer is what protects the badge and represents the positive influence policing has on the community. In their interactions with the people, he underscored the importance of officers building trust and being fair in how they treat others. “You cannot only accept the good things about being a Los Angeles police officer,” he said. “You must accept it all. Take responsibility for your profession; take responsibility for your own actions [and] be the kind of police officer that makes me proud.”
In closing, Chief Beck returned to addressing friends and family members of the recruits with a promise to protect and serve the new officers as they do the same for the people of Los Angeles.
Recruits will be on patrol in their respective LAPD divisions as soon as this coming Sunday, November 1. In keeping with tradition as a final note in the ceremony, the recruits recited their class chant and tossed their caps into the air, signifying their exuberance as police academy graduates and the promise of a fulfilling career as LAPD police officers.
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