PATERSON, NJ - Since being sworn into office in 2018 Mayor Andre Sayegh has gambled on spurring a renaissance by increasing the ranks of the Paterson Police Department and ringing in a new era of public safety. On Wednesday Sayegh doubled down on that bet by swearing in 21 new recruits with their sites set on protecting and serving the city they call home.

Acknowledging the men and women that their aspirations for a career in law enforcement come at a time of great struggle, and one when many say it is the “wrong time to become a police officer,” Sayegh offered confidence that it is the worst of times that would bring out the best in all of them.

PBA Local 1 President Alex Cruz shared a similar sentiment to his fellow law enforcement officers that spoke, including Public Safety Director Jerry Speziale and Police Chief Ibrahim “Mike” Baycora. “It’s never been an easy job,” he said, adding that it is one that has also always come with a risk of “paying the ultimate price.”

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Despite the dangers, Cruz added, being a police officer is still “an incredible career to fight for the rights of others.” Their careers, he concluded, will be “built block by block, person by person, encounter by encounter.”

Offering a reminder of the relative youth of the cadets, Paterson Business Administrator Kathleen Long referred to them as part of the “Harry Potter generation.” And while their work will be in real life, not something of fiction or fantasy, the attributes that the characters in the series of books and movies exhibited, including courage, bravery, hard work, patience, intelligence, with, ambition, and leadership, will be ones they will need to thrive in their own careers. 

The recruits will attend the Essex County Police Academy, Speziale said. 

Sworn in Thursday were: 

  • Yousef Abdalaziz
  • Catherine Angel
  • Malek Assad
  • Alexis Cardenas
  • Nicholas D’Amico
  • Corey Davis
  • Muhammed Dombayci
  • China Farrar
  • Ryan Fitzsimmons
  • Ruben Gonzalez
  • Waleska Herrera 
  • Daniel Leenas
  • Steven Maciado
  • Anthony Montano
  • Ricky Navarro
  • Sasha Nina
  • John Rikowich
  • Wisam Salameh
  • Johnbek Sagdic
  • Malcolm Waite
  • Matthew Weston

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