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    Office Of The Mayor

    The Mayor's Remarks to the Graduating Class of the 2012 Police Academy

    (12/17/2012) NEW HAVEN POLICE ACADEMY CLASS #16 GRADUATION

    DECEMBER 17, 2012

    TO THE BOARD OF POLICE COMMISSIONERS, TO CHIEF ESSERMAN AND HIS COMMAND STAFF, TO SERGEANT CAMPBELL AND THE POLICE ACADEMY STAFF, TO FELLOW LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS, TO FRIENDS AND FAMILY, AND, TO CLASS 16 - GOOD AFTERNOON.

    CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR NEW OFFICERS - AND TO THEIR FAMILY WHO NOW ALSO BECOME, BY EXTENSION, MEMBERS OF THE NEW HAVEN POLICE DEPARTMENT. I HAVE BEEN PART OF THIS FAMILY ALL MY LIFE. MY DAD WAS A 30 YEAR VETERAN OF THIS DEPARTMENT. AS A CHILD, WE PUBLIC SAFETY KIDS KNEW EACH OTHER, AND WE KNEW WHAT OUR PARENTS DID WAS DIFFERENT, WAS SPECIAL, WAS GOOD.

    IN A FEW MINUTES I WILL BE ASKING CLASS 16 TO TAKE AN OATH UNDER GOD - TO "SOLEMNLY, FAITHFULLY AND IMPARTIALLY, PERFORM THE DUTIES OF POLICE OFFICER".

    IT IS AN OATH TO SERVE IN A PUBLIC SERVICE CAREER:

    -TO WHICH YOU HAVE ASPIRED TO;

    -TRAINED FOR; AND,

    -WILL SHORTLY BE PERFORMING IN OUR NEIGHBORHOODS.

    AND THE ENORMITY OF THAT PUBLIC SERVICE CAN NEVER HAVE BEEN MORE CLEAR, OR MORE HEARTBREAKING, THAN WE HAVE ALL WITNESSED OVER THE LAST 3 DAYS.

    IT IS AN OATH TO TAKE UP A JOB:

    -THAT WILL PUT YOU IN HARM'S WAY;

    -THAT WILL MAKE YOU WITNESS TO THE BEST, AND WORSE, OF

    HUMAN NATURE; AND,

    -THAT WILL TEST YOU IN WAYS THAT YOU CANNOT TODAY

    IMAGINE.

    IT IS AN OATH, WHERE, IN THE MIDST OF EVIL, YOU WILL BE THE GOOD UPON WHICH PEOPLE DEPEND. JUST AS THOSE YOUNG CHILDREN, REALLY THOSE 20 INNOCENT BABIES IN NEWTOWN, DEPENDED UPON THEIR TEACHERS, AND THEIR FIRST RESPONDERS - PUBLIC SERVICE PROFESSIONALS ALL.

    WHILE 32 OF YOU GRADUATE TODAY, WE ARE ALL OF US, AS PRESIDENT OBAMA POINTED OUT LAST NIGHT, WE ARE ALL OF US RESPONSIBLE FOR ONE ANOTHER.

    THIS IS A CHALLENGE FOR ALL OF US. LAST YEAR, HERE IN NEW HAVEN, 32 PEOPLE WERE KILLED BY GUNS, AND ANOTHER 133 WERE NON-FATAL VICTIMS OF GUNSHOTS. 165 HIT BY FIREARMS. ACROSS THE UNITED STATES IN 2010, THE CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL REPORTED A TOTAL OF 31,672 DEATHS BY FIREARMS.

    THE PRESIDENT LAST NIGHT POINTED OUT THAT NO ONE LAW, OR SET OF LAWS, CAN COMPLETELY SOLVE THE DESTRUCTION THAT SO MANY OF OUR FAMILIES AND OUR COMMUNITIES EXPERIENCE. BUT WE CAN MAKE A START, AND WE CAN BEGIN TO MAKE IT BETTER.

    FOR NEW HAVEN, AND FOR AMERICA, WE CAN MAKE BEGIN TO MAKE IT BETTER:

    -BY NATIONALLY BANNING THE SALE AND POSSESSION OF

    AUTOMATIC AND SEMI AUTOMATIC WEAPONS LIKE THE

    BUSHMASTER AR-15;

    -BY NATIONALLY BANNING THE SALE AND POSSESSION OF LARGE

    AMMO CLIPS AND CARTRIDGES; UP TO 11 BULLETS WERE FOUND

    IN THE NEWTOWN VICTIMS-THESE WERE 6 AND 7 YEAR OLDS; AND

    -WE CAN CREATE AND ENFORCE STRICTER GUN LICENSING AND

    PURCHASING STANDARDS.

    WE ARE A GREAT CITY, AND WE ARE A GREAT NATION. TO STAND ON THE SIDELINES ANY LONGER - TO NOT MAKE CHANGE - WILL ONLY RESULT IN THE UNIMAGEANABLE BECOMING MORE AND MORE COMMON PLACE.

    YOU 32 HAVE MADE A CHOICE. YOU HAVE MADE A DECISION. YOU WILL BE PUTTING YOURSELVES ON THE LINE, JUST AS THEY DID 3 DAYS AGO IN NEWTOWN.

    IT IS NOW FOR THE REST OF US - HERE IN THIS ROOM, IN THIS CITY AND IN THIS NATION - TO MEASURE UP TO YOUR LEADERSHIP.


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