Graduation Ceremony Falls on 100th Anniversary of Hiring of Department’s First Black Police Officer
Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly presided Tuesday over graduation ceremonies for 66 Police Cadets who will join a class of more than 1,200 recruits set to begin Police Academy training next week.
“You have been ambassadors for the Department and role models for young people,” Commissioner Kelly said. “If history is any guide, you’ll make great police officers as well.”
There are currently 1,827 former cadets working in the Department in all ranks, including the Police Commissioner, who also served previously as Commanding Officer of the Cadet Corps.
The graduation fell on the 100th anniversary of the swearing in of the City’s first African- American police officer, Samuel J. Battle. Battle would go on to become the first African-American to be promoted to the rank of sergeant in 1926; lieutenant in 1935; and Parole Commissioner in 1941.
Commissioner Kelly said: “Samuel J. Battle overcame everything from institutional inertia to outright racism, becoming a trailblazer for racial equality in the process. He was a catalyst for police-community cooperation and an inspiration for thousands of police officers who’ve followed in his footsteps, going on to serve 30 years in the Department. I can think of no better example for a new police officer.
“Today, we also celebrate his appointment as a landmark in the early effort to build a more inclusive police department.”
Of the cadets graduating Tuesday, 42% are Hispanic; 26% are white; 15% are black, 12% are Asian and 5% indicated “other” as their race.
The Police Cadets Corps is an apprenticeship program through which college students are assigned to various commands throughout the Department. More information about the Police Cadet Corps can be found at: http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/html/careers/cadet_corps.shtml#overview