The United States Capitol Police welcomed 22 new officers to its force Friday morning at the swearing-in ceremony for Recruit Officer Class 177.
“The men and women you see before you today are joining a unique organization with a unique mission to protect Congress, its legislative processes, members, employees, visitors, and facilities from crime, disruption or terrorism,” Daniel B. Malloy , assistant chief of police and chief operating officer, told the recruits, their families and friends gathered at the ceremony in the Dirksen Senate Office Building.
Malloy detailed the sizable tasks ahead for the new officers, pointing out the Capitol Police screened more than 9.8 million visitors to the Capitol grounds last year alone, along with 150,000 vehicle sweeps on campus and 27,000 sweeps off campus.
"I can’t wait to put what I learned in training to use,” new officer Zachary Madera, the recruit class' president, said after the ceremony.
Madera, 22, from Grand Hill, Mass., has been interested in law enforcement from a young age. His father is a corrections officer and his uncle is a police officer, but Madera wanted to join the Capitol Police after learning about the opportunities for mobility.
While interning for the U.S. Marshals in D.C. as a student at Westfield State University, a Capitol Police officer came to speak to the interns about the force.
"He said he loved it because you constantly keep moving, you stay busy," said Madera. "From that point on, I already knew I was going to apply when I was old enough ... I got really lucky. I left [college] a week before I graduated — my professors all let me take the finals early — and next thing you know I’m sweating in Georgia.”
Recruit classes prepare for the force in Maryland and Georgia, undergoing grueling physical training and academic testing.
The 22 officers, ranging in age from 22 to 30, were able to relive part of their training during the swearing-in ceremony. After they took their oaths and received their pins and diplomas, the Training Services Bureau showed a video of highlights from camp.
With dramatic music playing, the officers saw themselves back at training camp and wearing black t-shirts with their motto, "Until the end, we will defend," participating in firearm, active shooter, security screening, and geography training, which involved detailing the Capitol campus in chalk on black asphalt.
Now the new officers will be able to put their learned skills to the test. For the next four to five weeks they will participate in the Field Training Officer program, where they will rotate between the various departments. After FTO, they will receive their first assignment.
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