By: Yuritza Arroyo
Paterson Police Department Officer in Charge Isa Abbassi joined 15 new police officers, their guests, and leadership from the Bergen County Police Academy to welcome the newest police officers to the Paterson Police Department.
According to officials, the graduates were recognized for completing their comprehensive training requirements at a graduation ceremony held at Felician University’s Lodi Campus.
Officials say the addition of these new officers will bring the number of police officers on the force in the City of Paterson to more than 400.
“This ceremony is the culmination of the hard work and dedication of these women and men to become Paterson Police Officers.
They are also the first recruits to join the department since the implementation of our PPD NextGen strategy,” said Officer in Charge Abbassi.
“The law enforcement profession continues to evolve, and these newest members of PPD represent that evolution toward a police department that serves the community constitutionally focused and customer service-oriented manner.
We will continue to provide them with the tools they need to make a great career for themselves and to achieve our goal of improving public safety in Paterson. I would also like to thank the Bergen County Police Academy for its continued partnership and am looking forward to growing our working relationship.”
In the academy, the new officers received 23 weeks of training covering a broad range of topics, including criminal law, motor vehicle law, first responder instruction including CPR and first aid, opioid reversal training, use of force, incidents of domestic violence, working with individuals with special needs, firearm proficiency, physical fitness, and officer resiliency.
Each officer has also completed an Integrating Communications Assessment and Tactics (ICAT) course, which provides law enforcement officers with the tools, skills, and options they need to successfully and safely defuse a range of critical incidents with limited use of force.
ICAT became a requirement for all officers in late 2020 as a result of revisions to the state’s Use of Force Policy through AG Directive 2020-13.
As these new officers join the department, they will continue their training alongside senior officers on the job.
Part of their first assignments will include walking a beat to meet with members of the community and business owners to allow them to get to know the people they will protect and serve and to improve relationships between the department and the community.
These 15 officers represent the city’s rich cultural diversity, with ten Hispanic officers, three Black officers, one Asian officer, and one officer of Middle Eastern descent.
Five of the 15 were not born in the United States: two were born in Peru, one was born in Jamaica, one was born in Bangladesh, and one was born in Morocco.
Ten officers are fluent in Spanish, one is fluent in Bengali, and one is fluent in Arabic, which will help in better communicating with residents, as Spanish, Bengali, and Arabic are three of the most widely spoken languages in Paterson.
Twelve of the officers are male, and three are female.
The new officers know the City of Paterson very well, as 13 of them live in the city while the other two live in neighboring Totowa and Passaic.
They are diverse in age as well; the youngest officer is 22, and the oldest is 36.
Another 28 recruits are going through the 23-week Robert A. Lyons Police Academy in Passaic County. Both Passaic County and Bergen County academies are certified by the Police Training Commission (“PTC”), the state-level agency responsibility for ensuring comprehensive training for law enforcement officers.
Various academies serve the local police departments to train officers for their new and demanding careers and ensure that they receive all required training and are prepared to join the more than 38,000 law enforcement officers serving New Jersey.