Lodi, N.J.—Officer in Charge Isa Abbassi of the Paterson Police Department recently welcomed 15 new police officers who successfully completed their comprehensive training requirements at the Bergen County Police Academy. The graduation ceremony, held at Felician University’s Lodi Campus, celebrated the achievement of these officers and marked their official entry into the Paterson Police Department. With the addition of these recruits, the number of police officers in the City of Paterson will exceed 400.
Officer in Charge Abbassi expressed his appreciation for the dedication and hard work demonstrated by these men and women throughout their journey to become Paterson Police Officers. He highlighted the significance of this occasion, as these recruits are the first to join the department since the implementation of the PPD NextGen strategy. Abbassi emphasized that law enforcement is a continuously evolving profession, and these new members embody the department’s commitment to serving the community with a focus on constitutional principles and customer service. He assured them of ongoing support and the provision of necessary resources to build successful careers while enhancing public safety in Paterson. Abbassi also expressed gratitude to the Bergen County Police Academy for their valuable partnership and expressed enthusiasm for further collaboration.
During their training at the academy, the new officers underwent an intensive 23-week program covering various topics, including criminal and motor vehicle law, first responder training (including CPR and first aid), opioid reversal techniques, use of force, domestic violence incidents, working with individuals with special needs, firearm proficiency, physical fitness, and officer resiliency. Additionally, each officer completed the Integrating Communications Assessment and Tactics (ICAT) course, a requirement introduced in late 2020 as part of the state’s revised Use of Force Policy. ICAT equips law enforcement officers with the skills, tools, and strategies needed to effectively and safely de-escalate critical incidents with minimal use of force.
As the new officers begin their duties, they will continue their training alongside experienced officers in the field. This includes walking beats and engaging with community members and business owners to foster relationships and enhance trust between the police department and the community.
The 15 officers reflect the vibrant cultural diversity of the city, with ten Hispanic officers, three Black officers, one Asian officer, and one officer of Middle Eastern descent. Among them, five were born outside of the United States, with two from Peru, one from Jamaica, one from Bangladesh, and one from Morocco. Additionally, ten officers are fluent in Spanish, one in Bengali, and one in Arabic, facilitating effective communication with the residents of Paterson, where Spanish, Bengali, and Arabic are widely spoken. The group consists of twelve male officers and three female officers.
It is worth noting that 13 of the new officers reside in Paterson, while the remaining two live in neighboring Totowa and Passaic. They also represent a wide range of ages, with the youngest officer being 22 years old and the oldest 36.
Meanwhile, an additional 28 recruits are currently undergoing training at the 23-week Robert A. Lyons Police Academy in Passaic County. Both the Passaic County and Bergen County academies are certified by the Police Training Commission (PTC), which ensures comprehensive training for law enforcement officers. These academies play a vital role in preparing recruits for the challenges of their demanding careers and ensuring that they receive all necessary training to serve effectively among the ranks of the over 38,000 law enforcement officers in New Jersey.