The Future of the New York Police Department
Inside 1 Police Plaza, several hundred members of the Muslim community gathered to discuss community safety in preparation for the celebration of Ramadan. Mayor Bloomberg – who began his remarks with a greeting of “shalom aleikhem” (the Hebraic form) a greeting meaning “Peace be upon you,” was responded to with salaam aleikhem, the greeting’s Arabic translation. His strong assurances of vigilance and security were welcomed. His words were echoed by Police Commissioner Ray Kelly who warranted that the New York City Police Department was determined to protect the safety and security of every citizen and every community in the City. Representatives of the JCRC-NY were also in the hall.
Meanwhile, over a thousand new recruits of the NYPD were gathered along the promenade outside of Police Headquarters to receive their first uniforms. “A lot of these recruits have a family legacy,” said Walter Beatty, sergeant of the New York City Police Department. “They all have to go through a series of training phases at the Academy – and have to succeed in each one to graduate.”
The 1249 member July 2011 class of the New York City Police Academy is the largest in five years. It includes 540 members who were slated to enter in April, but were delayed by the Bloomberg Administration, a decision City Council Speaker Christine Quinn had called “a mistake.”
The class lined both sides of the wide entryway. It is an impressive group: to gain entry, each passed a challenging civil service examination. “Each one has at least 60 college credits,” said Beatty. “Most have Bachelor’s, some have Master’s degrees.” Almost a sixth are immigrants, coming from 45 countries. Seventy nine have US military backgrounds. Each candidate will complete a rigorous 6 month training program. “Most,” said Sergeant Beatty, “will, thank God, successfully complete the course.”
One of the responders was Joshua Farazmand. His is a family legacy that, until now, has not included the NYPD. Born in Iran, he immigrated to New York as a child and has lived in Roslyn since 1995. Yet, in 2011, he may be more the typical police recruit.
“What made you choose to become a cop?” His answer was clear. He spoke of his “intuition” to help and to give guidance. “I want to show my community it’s right to serve the whole community.”
Farazmand graduated from Ezra Academy in Long Island, spent a year at Ohr Sameach Yeshiva in Israel, and is a graduate of Touro College. He comes from a family in which helping the community is a shared characteristic. His father is the kashrut supervisor at Long Island Jewish Hospital; each of the women in his family is involved in the medical professions – his mother and one sister are registered nurses and his other sister is a Physician’s Assistant.
Joshua Farazman is adding another tradition to his family legacy: membership in the NYPD. “When bad things happen to the elderly or the vulnerable, to people in need,” said the new recruit, “it affects me at heart.”
NYPD recruits are trained in Counter Terrorism and Intelligence and community outreach as well as basic policing. The Academy provides “the most advanced law enforcement training facility anywhere in the world… (providing) the training and resources necessary to meet the challenges of tomorrow in an ever-changing and complex world.”