TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) – The Toledo Police Department will welcome 39 new officers on Monday, after the cadets became officers Friday evening.
The 59th Toledo Police Academy graduated dozens of much-needed officers, and retirements and future police classes will bring the city to its goals of a force of 600 in the next two years.
"I am overwhelmed with happiness and pride to be joining the Toledo Police Department, following in my Dad's and Brother's footsteps. It's just a great honor." said Kellie Kenny, who is the daughter and sister of a Toledo police officer.
"Like any parent, I am proud but apprehensive at the same time. Proud that she got through the academy, not everyone made it through, she had to work very hard." explained Kellie's father Don.
Five weeks of physical, mental and academic training turned 44 cadets into 39. They will become officers with full arresting powers on Monday, and begin their patrols in field operations at a time when their service is truly needed.
"When they hit the streets on Monday it will allow us to fill some units, patrol units that we have not been able to fill because of our severe staffing shortages and help us increase our calls to service and response times and help us do a little bit better job of protecting the citizens of this community." said Chief Derrick Diggs.
"Putting these officers out along with some of the modern technology that the Chief is coming up with, I think that people should feel extremely safe inside the city of Toledo." explained Mayor Mike Bell.
The new officers will bring the department's total to 577 officers With 50 projected retirements in 2012, the 39 new officers, in addition to a class set to start in the fall, and another in 2013, will put the mayor's goal of more than 600 officers within reach.