BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Birmingham police are putting 18 more officers on the streets in the fight against violence. The recruit graduation ceremony is at 11 o’clock on Friday, inside the Bill Harris arena. In this exclusive story, that’s only on CBS 42 news, our cameras were rolling when Birmingham police Chief Patrick Smith stopped by the academy, in the final hours of recruit training.
Chief Smith says he has several conversations with recruits throughout their training. It is not unusual for him to stop by unannounced to visit with the recruits. They spend 22 weeks in training at the police academy. On the day our cameras were allowed to stop by, the recruits Chief Smith calls Magnificent 18 was in the final hours of training. Training alongside them, current officers on the force were being evaluated to be part of the elite Swat Team.
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.