BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Birmingham police added 18 more officers on the streets in the fight against violence.
The recruit graduation ceremony was held at 11 o’clock on Friday, inside the Bill Harris arena. Birmingham Police also honored local youth by letting teens from across the area speak at the ceremony in place of the police chief Patrick Smith and Mayor Randall Woodfin.
The recruits spent 22 weeks in training at the police academy. Smith says the graduation puts the department one step closer to its goal of having 1,000 police officers in the time for the World Games in 2021.
“Our goal is to continue recruiting, continue our positive efforts, we have another class that starts in July.” said Smith.
The department has three police academy classes this year, and they plan to have four classes next year. Chief Smith says he needs every man and woman in the academy to join the ranks of others helping to reduce violence.