CHICAGO (CBS) -- Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Sunday 53 new police officers have been deployed to their first district assignments as part of the plan to grow the Chicago Police Department by nearly 1,000 officers.
"We are putting more police on the street -- from the far north side to the far south side to the west side and neighborhoods in between -- and we are getting gangs, guns and drugs off the street," the mayor said. "Each of these men and women who are hitting the street today know that they can make a difference, and each of them will help us all achieve a better tomorrow."
The new officers will benefit from the new in-service training requirement, which begins with 16-hours of mandatory training and will necessitate that all department members take 40 hours of continuing education annually by 2021, according to the CPD's office of communications.
Emaneul was joined by Chicago Police Chief of Patrol Fred Waller.
"I am proud to welcome the next group of police officers that will help us to make Chicago safer and build bridges with the communities we serve," Waller said. "These new officers have received training based upon best practices in law enforcement and will focus their efforts to hold violent offenders accountable and become true community police officers."
These new officers have joined as part of CPD's "Be the Change" recruitment campaign, which reflects the belief that this new generation of police officers will "lay the groundwork for a more diverse department and be future leaders who define how police support, protect and work together with Chicago's communities."
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