(February 8, 2016) Today, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin joined Police Chief James Rovella, Hartford Police Command staff, and the Rev. Henry Brown in welcoming the newest recruits to the Hartford Police Academy. The class was accelerated two months ahead of schedule, as a first step in addressing the longstanding police staffing shortage.  

"For years, the City of Hartford failed to hire enough police officers to keep up with attrition, and we face a severe staffing crisis as a result," Mayor Bronin said.  "The work of rebuilding our police force will take time, but it begins today, with the accelerated hiring of this class of recruits.  We have a fundamental responsibility to ensure that our police force is adequately staffed to respond quickly and to be a visible, positive presence in our community."

Mayor Bronin also stressed to the new recruits the importance of community policing and partnership. "Community policing is not a sub-specialty within the police force, but a philosophy of policing that should guide every officer every day.  You are part of our community, and you have a profound duty to partner with, to treat with dignity and respect, and to earn the trust of those you serve,” Mayor Bronin said.

The new class consists of 14 recruits, including a Cadet from HPD’s restructured Cadet Program for city residents. Today marks the first day of a nine month education and field training period for the recruits. HPD operates a satellite Academy of the State’s Police Officer Standards and Training Council (POST-C). 

“This new class represents a critical first step towards staffing the Hartford Police Department to appropriate levels,” said Chief Rovella. “We are fortunate to have the support of Mayor Bronin and the City Council in our efforts to protect and serve our community in the manner they expect and deserve. We are proud of the diversity represented in this class and hope to continue recruiting exceptionally talented young men and women reflective of our community.”

Additionally, Mayor Bronin announced the City's plan to bring on an additional class of recruits later this year.  The Police Department has established a Recruiting Unit to assist in improving the recruitment of city residents and increasing the diversity of Hartford's police force.

The Mayor and Police Department officials will be reaching out to community leaders to assist in recruiting the next applicant pool. On Thursday, February 25, Mayor Bronin will host a Town Hall conversation with residents on public safety. The Town Hall will be held at Hartford Public High School’s Field House, 55 Forest Street, at 5:30 p.m.