Canton welcomes eleven new police officers at City Hall ceremony
PHOTO: Mayor Healy (R) and Safety Director Nesbitt (left of Mayor) swear in the new police recruits in City Council Chambers.
Mayor delivers oath, praises “stronger, more energized” police force
CANTON, Ohio – In a ceremony attended by family, friends, and fellow officers, eleven recruits were sworn in today as Canton's newest class of police patrolmen by Mayor William J. Healy II. The event, which was held in City Council Chambers, marks the first major hiring of police officers within the department since Healy took office in January.
“Today is a very auspicious occasion, both for our new officers and for the City of Canton,” Healy said. “With our police force now stronger and more energized, residents can begin to rest easier knowing that our neighborhoods will soon become safer places to live, work, and raise a family.”
After the ceremony, Mayor Healy said that the current class of officers was stronger than some previous classes because of the diverse pool of applicants who tested for the positions. Of those sworn in Monday, more than one-quarter of the applicants were African-American or female. Healy said that his administration will be stepping up minority recruitment efforts to increase the number of African-Americans and women on the police force during the next testing cycle.
“It's been proven that when a police department represents the community they protect and serve, they have a much easier time enforcing the law and preventing crime from taking place,” Healy said. “We will take advantage of every opportunity available to us to make sure that more minorities and women are applying for officer positions during the next round of testing.”
Of the eleven officers sworn in, seven will proceed directly to the department's internal orientation and Field Officer Training programs. During this time, they will be on patrol with senior officers for a period of three months. After the completion of their Field Officer Training, the new recruits will begin solo patrols for the remainder of their first probationary year under the close supervision of a shift sergeant.
The remaining four officers sworn in on Monday will begin Ohio Peace Officer Training at the University of Akron, where they will attend classes and receive basic skills training before completing standard orientation and Field Officer Training classes within the department.
Officers who have yet to complete Ohio Peace Officer Training will receive an annual salary of $31,200, while those who have been certified will earn $35,200. Following Monday's swearing in, the City of Canton now has 179 active-duty officers on its police force.
The officers sworn in at Monday's event were: Anthony R. Ankrom, Joseph E. Bays, Scott Steven Dendinger, Joshua H. Coates, Brandon Shackle, Gene R. Matako III, Larry L. Legg, Dawna Wensel, Judi A. Gill, Eric D. Winn, and Thomas William Sundbury. The next round of testing will take place August 26,2008. Questions regarding the testing process and schedule should be directed to Samuel Sliman, Civil Service Administrator, by calling (330) 489-3360.