A class of 20 Minneapolis Police Department recruits that already received layoff notices was sworn in Dec. 17 at the Special Operations Center in North Minneapolis.
The new officers will work less than a week before losing there jobs, the result of steep police budget cuts made to overcome a growing deficit brought on by reduced state funding.
“Whether you join us for a day, or join us for 30 years, you will always be a part of our family in the Minneapolis Police Department,” said police chief Tim Dolan during the graduation ceremony, one he said he’d likely remember more than any other.
Dolan pledged to rehire the officers as soon as it was financially possible. Mayor R.T. Rybak and City Council Member Don Samuels (5th Ward) backed up that pledge.
Because they were faced with layoffs, the officers had an option of simply accepting a certificate, or of working for four days. All of them chose to work and will be assigned throughout the city.
“With this, we get to be considered laterals, so it helps us to apply for another job somewhere else and I’d rather have some training and time on the street than none at all, so for me it’s worth it,” said new officer Heather Jorges, who will work briefly Downtown.
New officer Keheung Anderson, chosen to represent his class, said the layoff news was shock to all of them, but they are proud of their accomplishment nonetheless, and eager to serve.
“The news, although painful, cannot and will not define me,” he said.