DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Sixteen new Dayton police officers are ready to patrol after the 109th class of recruits was sworn in this morning, but this year’s ceremony looked a little different.
“It’s a fabulous day, as is all days we add new recruits to our agency,” Dayton Police Department Chief Richard Biehl said. “It’s a bit unusual because the entire ceremony had to be altered based on the realities of the pandemic that we’re all experiencing.”
To keep the gathering as small as possible, the ceremony was streamed online. Those in the room were separated by six feet, to adhere to social distancing.
Which left family and friends waiting outside City Hall to offer their congratulations.
“I’m really disappointed we didn’t get to be part of the ceremony, but we came and sat in the car in the parking lot and watching it online, it’s a blessing that they had it online.” a mother of one of the recruits said.
Though the ceremony was different, for the 16 new officers, the meaning remained the same.
“We all have a calling, like the chief always says, a police professional calling,” recruit Justin Poteet said.
Remarks during the ceremony focused on the new recruits coming in after a time of tragedy in Dayton and graduating during a pandemic.
“It is an unusual time to enter into the police service, with all of these series of critical events so close together,” Biehl said.
“I think these tragedies really show what police officers should be, and Dayton police officers specifically. It really inspires myself and my new fellow officers,” Poteet said.
As of now, Dayton Police Department has not put plans on hold for a second class of recruits scheduled to begin in mid-August.