BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Friday, the Birmingham Police Department got 29 more officers to add to patrol as the third class of the year has wrapped up.
“I do solemnly swear. Faithfully discharge the duties required of me." The new officers recited.
Birmingham’s academy’s latest police new officers is William Jones.
“I wanted to continue a commitment to serve. Coming from the Marine Corp, going over the Birmingham Police Department. I went to school for it. I love this city. So I want to defend it,” Jones said about his passion for the field.
Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith wants this class gets them ever closer of his goal of 1000 officers for the department. “We are only budgeted for 905 for this year. We are hoping to be budgeted for a thousand next year. Right now we are at 860 officers.” Smith said.
Smith said more officers are joining the force in part due to changes in their recruitment hiring process.
“We changed and combined our hiring and recruitment, as well as our academy staff. so that every person can see and sees what the other person sees working together as one team,” Smith said.
While everyone is smiling Friday they all understand the dangers of the job.
“We understand it’s a dangerous job but we also understand we have a commitment to serve the community and we are here to protect and serve,” Jones said.
Hiring more officers is a big part of the chief’s plan to bring down crime. He also plans to upgrade technology and get as much information to officers in the field as quickly as possible.