27 new recruits graduate BRPD academy
BATON ROUGE - Today more than two dozen new recruits are joining the Baton Rouge Police force, bringing the department closer to their overall staffing goal.
BRPD said 27 trainees graduated from the 79th Basic Training Academy this morning, but the department is still 30 officers shy of its goal.
"This gets us to 686 sworn officers. Our allotment is for 698, so we're 30 short and that comes from attrition and retirement," Chief Carl Dabadie explained. "People are always retiring and leaving the department so we always have that void, but this gets us a lot closer than we've been in several years."
That total number of 698 hasn't changed in 30 years, even though the population inside the city limits has grown 10 percent in that time.
Dabadie said it cost about $90,000 to train and outfit each officer with equipment. Monday morning, he addressed the class about the importance of training and community involvement.
Natasha Strickland said he took that to heart, and plans live by the principles learned during the 20 week training.
"I always wanted to be a superhero. This is exactly how I want to wake up everyday. I'm going to go and work hard and I'm hopefully going to clean up some crime and change Baton Rouge," Strickland said.
Police hope to teach another class of cadets next year.