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PR- 449-06
December 26, 2006


NYPD Police Academy Becomes First Major U.S. Police Academy to Receive Official Accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies

This is the Second Class of 2006 to Graduate from the Police Academy

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today presided over a graduation ceremony for 1,359 new police officers at Madison Square Garden. This is the ninth class of officers to join the Police Department since September 11, 2001, when 23 officers were lost. Of today's graduates, approximately 28% of the graduates are Hispanic, 17% are black, 8% are Asian, 1% are other ethnicities, and 46% are white. Approximately 18% of the graduates are female.  Among today's class, 23% have received four-year college degrees; 17% have completed associates degrees; and 13 individuals have earned Master's degrees. Nearly 90% of the class has had some college education. Members of the class hail from a wide range of professions including 225 graduates who have previously served in the military. Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly also announced today that the NYPD Police Academy has received accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). The NYPD is only the ninth police department in the world - and the first major U.S. police department - to receive this accreditation.

"Every day we're reminded of the extraordinary responsibility of protecting our City and keeping all New Yorkers safe," said Mayor Bloomberg. "New York City remains America's safest big city because of the hard work and dedication of the men and women of the New York City Police Department. You've answered the call to serve and today, you join the ranks of New York's Finest. Congratulations to you and your families. I know that this new class will continue the NYPD's strong record of achievement as it continues to distinguish itself as a national leader in fighting crime and combating terrorism."

"Congratulations to our new police officers," said Commissioner Kelly. "You have earned the distinction of being the best trained and prepared Police Officers, ready to protect the most exciting city in the world, in one of the most demanding policing environments anywhere."

Mayor Bloomberg also presented the Mayor's Award to Police Officer Sean K. Driscoll for earning the highest overall average in the class.  Police Officer Jose L. Benitez received the Police Commissioner's Award for earning the second highest overall average. Police Officer Kevin W. Yam received the First Deputy Commissioner's Award for earning the highest academic average.

Police Officer Jose L. Benitez and Police Officer Jennifer A. Livingston received the Chief of Department's Award for earning the highest physical fitness runoff average. Police Officer Nicholas G. Chabert received the Deputy Commissioner of Training Award for earning the highest firearms proficiency average. Police Officer Robert M. Sanderlin received the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association Award as outstanding company sergeant. Police Officer Steven P. Rodriguez received the New York City Police Foundation Award for exceptional community service.

The graduates recently completed approximately six months of training at the Police Academy in various field assignments.  The new officers will be assigned to various commands throughout the City, including the Patrol Services Bureau, Housing Bureau, and Transit Division.

NYPD Police Academy Accreditation

CALEA was formed in 1979 by the four major law enforcement executive associations: The International Association of Chiefs of Police, The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, The Police Executive Research Forum and the National Sheriff's Association. CALEA accredits police agencies, training academies and communication centers in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Barbados.  The accreditation process for the New York City Police Academy began in 2002 and concluded last month. It included in-depth reviews of its certification of instructors, recruitment and selection of applicants, instructional systems and program development.

"Very few police academies in the world have gone through the three to four year painstaking review process to win accreditation," said CALEA Commissioner Gary J. Margolis. "With one exception, none of the big city police academies in the United States have achieved this distinction. This year the Police Academy of the New York City Police Department became the only big city police academy in the United States and only the ninth of any size in the world to be so recognized."

In the describing the Police Academy, the Commission reported that, "Today, the academy conducts more than five million man-hours of training annually. Recruit officers receive six months of training to prepare them for the ever evolving law enforcement profession, within the most dynamic and diverse city in the world. Recruit officers are prepared to detect, deter and respond to acts of terrorism, including nuclear, biological ands chemical attack. However, the academy is committed to ensure that traditional law enforcement training remains a staple of the curriculum."

Other police training programs to win accreditation include the Honolulu Police Department, Kansas City Police Department, Knoxville Police Department, as well as regional police training centers in California, Ohio, Washington, Virginia, Kentucky and Illinois.


Stu Loeser/Virginia Lam   (212) 788-2958

Paul Browne   (Police Department)
(646) 610-6700

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