By Joseph Leo
The confetti flew high at the theater at Madison Square Garden Thursday morning, as the NYPD held its spring 2019 graduation ceremony bringing 457 new officers onto the force.
In this class, 47 are military veterans. It is the biggest class since last July, when 726 graduates entered the department.
These new officers are joining the New York City Police Department at a time when, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio, the crime rate is the lowest since the 1950’s.
“The last time the crime rate was this low, the Dodgers were playing at Ebbets Field,” de Blasio said.
“This is the class that literally that has gotten the best training in the history of this department . . . to places that we’ve never been before.”
Commissioner James P. O’Neil said, “Our work has never been more meaningful.”
Both the mayor and commissioner stated impactful the work of police officers is to the city. O’Neil sought to sooth the spirits of civil servants who will have difficult experiences ahead of them, and to make them happy and proud.
“You will have some bad days, truthfully, but you will have many more good than bad days,” O’Neil said.
Class valedictorian Christopher Messina, who is a fourth generation NYPD officer and among 124 officers who have family members in the department, gave thanks to his father who was his main reason he decided to pursue the NYPD.
“My dad has said countless times, ‘I’ve never worked a day in my life.’” Messina gave a reason why his father felt that way. “When you’re a part of something bigger than yourself, it makes it easy.”