Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today presided over a graduation ceremony for 781 new police officers at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The class has completed six months of intensive Police Academy training and all members will be assigned to Operation Impact, in which rookie officers are paired with experienced supervisors and deployed to patrol higher-crime neighborhoods. The first major citywide deployment for this class is the Fourth of July, including the detail for the Macy's fireworks display on Manhattan's west side.
“The members of this department are the reason New York can rightly call itself the nation's safest big city,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The job our newest police officers have chosen is one of the toughest, most demanding, and most important there is and no one does that job better than our men and women in blue. In 2012, New York set a record low for murders - and a record low for shootings. Today, with six months to go, we're on pace to break both of those records in 2013, and that is due to the outstanding work of the NYPD.”
“There is nothing that inspires more hope or confidence in the Police Department than a Police Academy graduation, and the graduates are the reason why. Though you come from 49 countries and speak 40 languages, you share the same aspirations. You want to make a difference," said Commissioner Kelly. "As you officially assume your duties, remember what the public gives you: their trust. We earn it day by day, officer by officer, action by action. We look to you to honor this trust in everything you do, and to safeguard the public, just as a number of you have already done. This is a class made up of men and women of exceptional character. You've distinguished yourselves in your training and I know you'll distinguish yourselves throughout your careers.”
More than 45 percent of the graduating class are college graduates, including 31 who hold advanced degrees. Nearly 11 percent of new officers served in the U.S. military and 41 previously served the City in other capacities such as School Safety Agents, Traffic Enforcement Agents, NYPD Police Cadets who performed clerical and other support in various commands while attending college, and other civil service titles.
The class is 85 percent male and 15 percent female; 49 percent white, 12 percent black, 28 percent Hispanic, 10 percent Asian, and 1 percent other. One-quarter of the class of new police officers immigrated to the United States; they represent 49 different countries including the United States, listed below. The members of this class speak 40 foreign languages.
As valedictorian, Probationary Police Officer Frank V. DeBiase received the Mayor's Award, with the highest overall average (100 percent) in his class. PPO DeBiase is the first in his family to become a police officer. Upon graduating college he joined the Manhattan District Attorney's High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area as a support analyst, working alongside NYPD Intelligence officers on financial crimes, fraud, organized crime and drug trafficking. He also worked as an investigator for the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct. PPO DeBiase holds a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Delaware and has completed one year toward his master's in Public Administration from The City University of New York Baruch College. PPO DeBiase also received the Chief of Department's Award, with the highest score among males in physical fitness. He is 24.
The class salutatorian and recipient of the Police Commissioner's Award is Probationary Police Officer Andy Chiu, age 28. PPO Chiu earned the second-highest overall average. He was born and raised in New York City and holds a juris doctorate from Beasley School of Law at Temple University. He is a former investigator for the New York City Department of Corrections.
The First Deputy Commissioner's Award went to Probationary Police Officer Kayan Dawkins, age 31, of Jamaica. PPO Dawkins earned the highest academic average, 98.33 percent, and holds a bachelor's of science in biology magna cum laude from Lehman College in the Bronx. PPO Dawkins is a former Emergency Medical Technician and FDNY Paramedic, and one of more than a dozen members of this class who worked as part of emergency medical teams.
Probationary Police Officer Lorraine Vultaggio earned the highest female physical fitness score, also receiving the Chief of Department's Award. PPO Vultaggio was a Police Officer with the Atlanta Police Department and prior to that earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism/public relations and sports management, from the State University of New York at New Paltz and Adelphi University, respectively. She is 26.
The award for Exceptional Police Duty given by the Commanding Officer of the Police Academy went to Probationary Police Officer Sazib Ahmed, age 28. PPO Sazib assisted a police officer in calmly and professionally removing an aggressive passenger from the subway at 1 a.m., just after completing a scheduled tour at the Police Academy in March. He was able to remove the man from the train at the next stop. PPO Ahmed is originally from Bangladesh.
Probationary Police Officer Ryan Lathrop, 35, was awarded Outstanding Company Sergeant, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association Award. As a Marine Corps infantryman he specialized in amphibious operations and later worked as private military contractor and Director of Operations for a private security company in Los Angeles.
The Police Foundation Award for exceptional community service was given to Probationary Police Officer Diosky Pena, age 23, who was a Law Enforcement Explorer for eight years.
Probationary Police Officer Mark Ruppert, 24, earned the Deputy Commissioner of Training Award for highest firearms proficiency average (100 percent). He is a fourth-generation New York City police officer.
Countries of Origin
China & Hong Kong
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago
United Arab Emirates
United States & Puerto Rico