Updated 02/21/2013 08:06 AM
New cops boost City of Newburgh PD manpower
The City of Newburgh is getting some more manpower in its war on crime. Our Christian Farrell has more on the city's new police officers.
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NEWBURGH, N.Y. - "We've been waiting a long time," said City of Newburgh Police Chief Michael Ferrara.
The wait is now over for Ferrara. Four new police officers are about to join his department.
And Ferrara says they can't arrive soon enough.
"It's been a while since we hired four at the same time. It brings me up to 73," said Ferrara.
Seventy-three is the number of police officers who have the job of patrolling by far the area's most violent city. 2012 was a bad year for Newburgh according to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. The city had five murders, more than 300 aggravated assaults, and a total of 36 shooting incidents.
Albert Johnson knows the city's dangers first hand.
"The other week my son got shot up there on South Street. It's just a mess, man," said Johnson.
According to Ferrara the new hires will certainly help make the city a safer place.
"We can do a hundred calls a day here in the City of Newburgh at peak times. By summer time when the weather gets nicer, we'll have the extra officers on the street which is great," said Ferrara.
After completing six to ten weeks of field training, these police officers will be ready to hit the streets. And police officials say they're going to have one big advantage - all four are City of Newburgh residents.
"Geographically, they should be familiar with the area here in the City of Newburgh," said Ferrara.
On the streets the idea of home grown officers is also favored.
"If you're new and come with a new attitude, and try to interact with the people in the community on a more positive and constructive basis it may work out just fine," said Douglas Neal Dunbar of Newburgh.
Two more police officers are expected to be hired before the end of the year -
bringing the department to its full strength of 75.