Eight new police recruits were sworn onto the Rome Police Department at City Hall on Thursday.
The new recruits — four women and four men — will begin their training at the Mohawk Valley Police Academy on Monday, city officials stated. The academy had been delayed from April because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Also because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the department did not hold the traditional swearing in ceremony. Instead, Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo swore in the new recruits individually at City Hall on Thursday.
“I think that they are entering into a very noble profession,” said Police Chief Kevin C. Beach.
“And regardless of what’s going on in the nation right now, we’re here to help everybody. There’s a lot of people in the community that need us, that need them.”
Multiple high profile protests against police brutality have been held throughout the country in the past month following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Several such protests have been held in Rome this past month.
The new recruits will attend the police academy for 26 weeks, followed by another 12 weeks of in-field training with the Rome Police.
Kevin M. Fisher Jr., age 30.
Megan L. Pritchard, age 23.
Anthony L. Pacicca, age 23. Pacicca is the son of longtime Rome Police Officer Fred A. Pacicca.
Savka I. Browneski, age 31.
John A. Petrelli, age 21.
Mikayla M. Blumenstock, age 22.
Kalyn M. Olney, age 24.
Markel C. Griggs, age 21.
All the recruits are residents of the City of Rome.
Despite the addition of these eight new recruits, Beach said the department still has two fewer officers than the authorized strength of 76. He said Rome Police will also see five additional retirements by the end of August.
“I think a manpower shortage is something, nationally, that we’re all dealing with,” the chief stated.
“I’m not concerned about a lack of public safety because we will provide the service that the public deserves.”
Chief Beach said there would be no cut backs on officers on patrol. He noted that his main concern was potentially overworking any officers who needed to fill in hours to keep up full patrols.