36 police recruits graduate in first collaborating class

NEWARK, NJ — A new class of police officers graduating from their training in a joint ceremony was sworn in on Thursday, March 10, at New Hope Baptist Church, 106 Sussex Ave., in Newark’s Central Ward.

The Police and Fire departments are now united in the city’s newly created Department of Public Safety.

Mayor Ras J. Baraka and Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose discussed how police and fire training have changed to meet the city’s emphasis on bringing the police and community together to collaborate on reducing crime, now that police and fire services are consolidated within the city’s new department of public safety.

“This will be the first time in a very long time that neighborhoods will see you out every day walking the streets and connecting with the citizens. We believe that 21st-century public safety in Newark works to heal the wounds of the past and institute a new philosophy which treats the community like members of our own families,” the mayor said on Thursday, March 10.

“My vision is to change the police culture in the city. My comprehensive plan is centered on training that focuses on de-escalation of potentially volatile situations, cultural and diversity training that brings in members of the clergy and matching our new recruits with veterans who know this community. The change that we seek in Newark begins with the Department of Public Safety,” Ambrose said on Thursday, March 10.

After the ceremonies, the 34 fire recruits of the 45th Recruit Class will begin 10 weeks of training at the Newark Fire Academy at 191 Orange St. The police recruits completed a grueling a 24-week training course at Essex County College in Cedar Grove that included classes on physical training, state law and firearms qualifications. The last Newark Police Department Recruit Class graduated in October 2015.