LYNN — City streets will be a little safer after the addition of nine new officers to the Lynn Police Department.
Jose Almonte, Sean Coppinger, Kalene Kouch, Rachel McInerney, Jonathan Mills, Joseph Plessas, Matthew Ruggiero, Brendan Slepoy and Dante Vinciarelli were sworn into the department during a Wednesday morning ceremony at City Hall in front of their friends and family, Police Chief Michael Mageary and Mayor Thomas M. McGee.
It was an exciting week for the recruits, who graduated from Reading Police Academy on Tuesday.
“We’ve been saying that we’ve been in need of manpower for a long time,” said Lynn Police Lt. Michael Kmiec. “The nine that we’re getting is a big bump. It’s the biggest class we’ve seen in many years.
“From a department perspective, we know that we need the bodies, we need the officers on the streets, so (we’re) just excited to have some young officers out here hitting the streets in the summer months, which is generally our busiest time.”
The additions bring the department’s staffing level to 172, which is still far below its optimal level of 195 officers. Although there are five recruits in the police academy who are scheduled to graduate in November, the department is also expecting additional retirements before the end of the year, Kmiec said.
City officials authorized hiring 19 additional officers last year, 10 to replace officers who retired or transferred and nine through a COPS grant. Kmiec said this week’s hires are not grant-funded, with funds coming from the city.
“Congratulations to the nine police officers that were sworn in,” said McGee in a statement. “This was a proud moment for the officers, their families and the city of Lynn. I wish them the best in their careers and look forward to the work they will do to keep our community safe.”