Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday swore in his first class of police cadets in a ceremony at Queens College.
The new mayor appeared before 650 cadets and administered the oath of office.
The new mayor frequently criticized the police department over controversial tactics like "stop and frisk" during his campaign, calling for more department oversight, including the creation of an inspector general.
De Blasio used the event to strengthen his relationship with the department and urge new recruits to do their jobs with respect.
"We need to make our city ever safer, while at the same time, consistently respecting our constitution, consistently showing respect to everyone we serve in each and every neighborhood. We can do those two things at the same time. In fact, the more we do those two things at the same time, the better we will be at the work we do," de Blasio said.
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton also reassured the city's newest police recruits that the mayor has their back and understands the challenges that lie ahead.