The Wilmington Police Department held a promotional ceremony and a separate swearing-in ceremony for new officers on Feb. 5.
Newly promoted Sergeant Chris Farr and Corporal David Pellegrino were both honored at the ceremony.
The 11 new Wilmington Police officers who were sworn in on Friday just completed a 5-week classroom training program in preparation for being assigned to work with their Police Training Officers (PTOs). All those being sworn in are already certified law enforcement officers.
Starting Feb. 8, each new officer will begin a period of practical training in the field under the guidance of a PTO and a Sergeant. They will be evaluated individually and will be released from their PTO training as soon as they demonstrate the required knowledge and proficiencies to work alone.
In addition to those sworn in on Friday, 5 additional new officers are beginning Basic Law Enforcement training (BLET) at Cape Fear Community College and will graduate in June 2010.
Thirteen of the 16 new WPD officers were hired with funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 or stimulus funding. The grant provided $2 million in funding for WPD to hire 13 police officers and pay them for 3 years. A condition of the grant requires the city to commit to a 4th year of employment for the new hires. The grant was administered by the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS*).
* The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), established in 1994, is the component of the U.S. Department of Justice responsible for advancing the practice of community policing through information and grant resources.