The NYPD on Tuesday graduated roughly 800 new members to its force, all of whom will be making their debut later this week when the city plays host to one of the largest Fourth of July celebrations in the nation. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
Graduating to protect and serve. Eight hundred men and women are now out of the police academy and ready to hit the streets.
At Barclays Center, Mayor Michael Bloomberg told them that they're a part of the team responsible for making New York the safest big city in the nation.
"Murders this year, compared to last year, are down 25 percent, and shootings are down by 26 percent," Bloomberg said. "It is a wonderful accomplishment, and the people of New York are awfully lucky to have the NYPD delivering those results."
Graduates hail from 49 countries and speak 40 languages. They start patrolling at a time when the stop-and-frisk policy is at the height of controversy.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the new officers must be sensitive.
"Remember what the public gives you. They give you their trust," Kelly said. "We earn it day by day, officer by officer, action by action."
Their first official assignment is the Fourth of July celebrations. and they say they're ready.
Frank Debiase had the highest overall scores in the academy.
"My goal is to be just a great police officer and hopefully move up the ranks," he said.
Kayan Dawkins had the highest academic average.
"It was a lot of hard work. A lot," he said. "With family support, you couldn't make it without that."
From the academy to what's going on in the communities and police department, the NYPD released a report by an outside audit review committee that scrutinized the NYPD's crime statistics.
Figures show crime at historic lows, but some critics say the department is fudging the numbers by not documenting crimes correctly. The committee said the NYPD has high auditing standards, but improvement can be made.
"The NYPD's audit process could be better documented," said David Kelly of the Crime Reporting Review Committee. "Second, that the NYPD continue with, and perhaps expand, its audits of reports taken in response to 911 calls."
The full report can be found at nyc.gov/nypd.