CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s graduation day for the latest group of Chicago Police Department recruits, who celebrated their graduation Tuesday morning at Navy Pier.
The new officers are part of the city’s promise to add nearly 1,000 more officers to the ranks by the end of the year.
The graduation comes on the heels of the bloodiest weekend of the year in Chicago, with 56 people shot from Friday afternoon to Monday morning. Ten of those people were killed.
A recruit class spokesman gave a speech about the fun and difficulty of choosing a career in law enforcement. He said he and fellow officers want to bring honor and integrity back to the Chicago Police Department.
The mayor’s office said the class of 230 new officers are 30 percent female, and 64 percent minority.
“We have a very diverse city, so if our department kind of reflects that, I think that’s great; and I think the people and the citizens of Chicago will appreciate that as well,” graduating Officer Michael McGehee said.
The new officers were joined at graduation by 50 newly promoted sergeants and 13 newly promoted lieutenants.
McGehee reflected on what he feels was the most important part of his training.
“Working with the community, being able to talk to people, trying to de-escalate issues when you come across them, really working just to mitigate things before they escalate,” he said. “I think that’s really important as officers. We really want to make sure people leave feeling we were professional the whole time, as well as we’ve provided the service that they requested when they called 911.”
Future academy classes will add yoga to their studies. Academy teachers recently completed trauma-sensitive yoga training, which is aimed at helping cope with post-traumatic stress disorder and other complex trauma.