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National Police Week: Cincinnati Police memorial

CINCINNATI (Joe Webb) -- It's National Police Week and Monday in Cincinnati they gathered to honor the 112 US police officers who died in the line of duty last year.

It's a solemn and touching annual event in Cincinnati.  Fortunately, it's been 13 years since a Cincinnati officer was killed.  There were a few hundred people on hand for Monday's event, most of them police officers, Sheriff's deputies, state troopers, and federal agents.  But there was also the men and women of the Cincinnati Police Department's 103rd recruit class.
It's their first day in the academy, but not their first day as police.  Every year, ceremony and service meet on a somber May morning in Cincinnati.  Monday, hundreds met and marched to remember those who can't.  For these 20 men and women in white, their careers as Cincinnati Police Officers began at 8:30 Monday morning but not their police careers.  This is Cincinnati's first class of "lateral recruits."

"They come from all different law enforcement agencies.  Some have three years or more, some have as high as 14 years on from all over the state of Ohio," said Captain Doug Wiesman of the CPD Police Academy.

Ryan Lay usually serves in the Hamilton County Honor Guard on days like Monday.  But that morning he was Recruit Lay, standing at attention on Fountain Square while others advanced the colors.  He's a long-time Mariemont Police Officer.

Some are taking pay cuts to join Cincinnati.  Some were supervisors in their departments.  Because of their experience, the Academy and field training will be cut by more than half.  They will undergo 16 weeks of training compared to about nine months of training for a regular recruit.  These recruits will be street ready with some level of experience six months sooner than a regular recruit class.
Wiesman is excited about their prospects saying, "We have not hired anybody for six years so I told these guys this morning this is a very special day."

A very special day for police in Cincinnati in so many ways.  This is a first for Cincinnati to look for veteran officers who want to work for an urban police department.  They did something similar a few years ago when Cleveland laid off a lot of police officers.  They put together a shorter academy for those guys.

They may be police veterans, but they were recruits Monday.  Their police powers have been suspended until they complete training.  Officials expect them on the street in September.  That's when the city is planning on another, more traditional, recruit class of 60 men and women.

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