Six new recruits were sworn into the Rome Police Department this morning at a ceremony at City Hall.
The new recruits — five men and one woman — were joined by their families and friends, as well as city officials. All six are currently attending the Mohawk Valley Police Academy and are expected to be on the road as uniformed officers early next year.
“We don’t just hire to fill our numbers. We want the best of the best, and we believe that these six individuals are what we are looking for,” said Police Chief Kevin C. Beach.
“Make no mistake about it: this is a tough profession. There will be days when they wonder if it’s all worth it.”
Beach noted that the six recruits were chosen from a pool of 93. Those numbers were whittled down through agility and psychological testing, a polygraph test, background investigations and eventually through interviews with the department’s top brass.
“It’s a very long, tough process, and we believe you guys are up to the task,” Beach told the recruits. He called the profession “very rewarding,” and said the recruits “are going to be expected to handle themselves professionally and calm at all times.”
The police academy started on April 1. There will be 26 weeks of academy training, followed by 12 weeks of in-field training with the department’s training officers.
• Christopher T. Herring, age 27, is a 2009 graduate of Poland Central School. He received an Associates Degree in criminal justice from Mohawk Valley Community College in 2018. He is a former police officer from the Dolgeville Police Department, and a former security officer at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona.
Because of his prior police experience and certification, Herring will not require as much new training as the other recruits.
• Jasmine M. Harris, age 27, is a 2010 graduate of Rome Free Academy. She served in the United States Army from April 2013 until her honorable discharged in May 2016. Harris worked as a supply specialist and an automated logistical specialist. She earned the President’s Award, Tuskegee Airman Award, Overseas Service Ribbon, Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Physical Fitness Badge, Sharp Shooter Badge and the Global War on Terrorism Award.
• Matthew D. Richardson, age 29, is a 2008 graduate of Rome Free Academy. He worked security for both the Rome City School District and Securitas Security Services. Richardson is the cousin of current Police Officer James L. Richardson.
• Anthony A. Calandra, 32, is a 2005 graduate of Rome Free Academy. He attended Mohawk Valley Community College for criminal justice. He formerly worked as an accounting technician for Adjusters International in Utica. Calandra is the son of longtime Department of Public Works employee George Calandra.
• Thomas E. Tardugno, age 22, is a 2014 graduate of Rome Free Academy. He attended the Law Enforcement Phase 1 Academy through Mohawk Valley Community College. He previously worked as a security officer for the Turning Stone Casino.
• Dylan M. Stasio, age 21, is a 2015 graduate of Rome Free Academy. He is a former security officer at Bassett Medical Center.
The starting annual salary for new police officers is roughly $44,000. They make about 75-percent of that while attending the police academy. The new recruits bring the department up to 74 officers out of an authorized strength of 76.
The department’s budget for 2019 is $7,271.038.