Cincinnati Police Department will graduate its first recruit class in six years this week, adding 56 officers to the force. (FOX19 NOW)
The new Cincinnati police recruits who graduate Friday will go to work at all five districts. (FOX19 NOW)
Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell (FOX19 NOW
The Cincinnati Police Department graduates its first recruit class in six years Friday, adding 56 officers to the force.
But before the rookies hit the streets and start making arrests, Chief Jeffrey Blackwell already put them on special assignment.
He is insisting they spend a week volunteering and performing community service in the very neighborhoods they vow to serve and protect.
"When these young recruits finally get this badge that they've worked so hard for and they start their week as police officers, they get immersed in the business of cops," Blackwell said. "I wanted them to have their first week immersed in the business of servitude to our public."
They are required to work with senior citizens in Over-the-Rhine, Alzheimer's patients, the youth and the homeless.
"The part of the city that needs them the most," he said.
Since the last recruit class in 2008, Cincinnati police has lost nearly 150 officers through attrition, reducing the force from about 1,100 to less than 950.
Last year, 18 officers laterally transferred from other departments, but officials say there weren't enough of them to really be felt.
Blackwell said the new officers will "help immensely" to improve the overall safety of the city.
District 3, which covers West Side neighborhoods like Price Hill and Westwood, is the busiest in Cincinnati, so they will get the most recruits, or 20.
Another 15 will go to District 4, which covers areas to the east of Downtown like Avondale and Walnut Hills.
The rest will be split up among the other three districts.