By SCOTT JACKSON
Twenty-five new members of the Quincy Police Department were sworn-in on Friday during a City Hall ceremony before a standing-room-only audience comprised of family, friends and police officers past and present.
Shawn Thomas, Kevin Chenette, Sean Klimas, Adam McKeen, Gary Curtis, William Alzened, Michael Tervakoski, Brian Suggs, Peter Le, John Clifford, Ryan Larsen, Brian O’Callaghan, Tyler Braun, Michael MacPherson, John Meade, Edward Riley, Davy Thach, Kevin O’Shea, Cameron Smith, Audrey Underwood, James Aikens, Benny Chow, James Craven, Timothy DeCristofaro and Pierre Saint Marc.
City Clerk Nicole Crispo swore-in the new officers during the ceremony, which was held inside the Great Hall of the McIntyre Government Center. The new officers were sworn in in two groups.
Addressing the new officers shortly before they took their oaths, Mayor Thomas Koch said they were joining the best police department in the Bay State.
“You’re joining the best police department undoubtedly in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It’s the best-trained, most professional, and they do a great job each and every day,” Koch said.
“You’re going into a career that’s not so popular as we know in the last few years and it’s unfortunate that’s occurred. We’ve seen a lot of craziness across the country, less so in Massachusetts, although there’s been some, and far less so in Quincy, because I do believe the Quincy Police Department has earned respect.”
The mayor challenged the new officers to be compassionate when interacting with members of the public.
“You’re going to be dealing with situations that are not always positive; in fact, most of the interaction that you’re going to have is probably going to be negative,” he said.
“After a few years it’s easy to fall into being jaded. There’s an old saying, some people bring a problem to every solution. We want you to be positive. We want you to treat people like you treat your own family members.”
Police Chief Paul Keenan thanked Koch for his support of the department over the past 15 years, noting the number of patrol officers within the department has grown from 142 to 180 during that timeframe. He also thanked Patricia McGowan, the city’s human resources director, and Sgt. Jennifer Tapper and other officers within the department who performed background investigation for their role in the hiring process.
Keenan said the new officers will have a number of opportunities available to them within the department.
“Quincy is a great city to work in. As far as the department goes, there is a number of opportunities,” he said.
“You can make rank. You can make detective. We have boats. We have a SWAT team. We have dogs. We have bicycles. We have motorcycles. Anything that you really want to do, you can do it in the Quincy Police Department.”
The chief encouraged the new officers who will be headed to police academies for their training to work together and get through it as a group.
“It’s going to be a challenging next six or seven months getting through the academies, some of them are very difficult, but you’ve been vetted, and I think you’re all up to the task,” Keenan said. “Stay together as a group when you go into the academy, work hard and get through it as a group.”
Six of the new officers are transferring from other law enforcement agencies and have already completed academy training. Klimas joined the Quincy Police Department from the Canton police; Alzened from the Plymouth police; Clifford from the Rockport police; Underwood from the Brookline police; Chow from the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office; and DeCristofaro from the UMass police. Those six officers will undergo two months of field training with the Quincy Police Department before being sent out on patrol.
The remaining 19 new recruits are bound for academy training. Keenan said ten of them will begin training at the police academy in Plymouth on July 25 while nine will start at the police academy in Randolph in September. The officers will undergo additional field training in-house after completing the academy.
The 25 new officers will give the department a complement of approximately 186 patrol officers, Keenan said. Several retirements are pending in the coming months, bringing the number of patrol officers to 180.