Elorza: New Providence police recruits break ‘all records of diversity’

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A new class of police recruits are ready to protect the city of Providence after Monday’s graduation ceremony at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.

According to Providence police, this year’s recruits were the largest and most diverse in the history of the department. Of the 55 new graduates, police said 27 were first-generation citizens of the United States.

“They took a giant step forward breaking all records of diversity in this class, because the most important thing is that relationship between police and community and being able to relate to folks,” Mayor Jorge Elorza said.

Also among the class were 19 bilingual recruits, 12 women and 38 minorities. Only about 2% of all applicants made it to graduation day, police said.

“Look it’s always important in this profession to reflect the community you serve and we have a hard time recruiting particular people in this community. Women, particularly, and people of color,” Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare said. “They don’t think they have an opportunity and this just showed that they do.”

Monday’s recruits were the 68th group of officers to graduate from the training academy.