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Akron, Ohio

City of Akron Marks Historic Police Academy Graduation


Mayor Horrigan Shares Comments on Race Relations and Police-Community Relations

City of Akron Press Release
From the desk of Ellen Lander Nischt
Published: 05-29-2020

Akron, Ohio, May 29, 2020Today, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan stood before 46 Akron Police Academy graduates and administered the oath of office. The swearing-in event was held at Canal Park Stadium, without family members or the public, to ensure social distancing and to comply with health department guidance.

This class is the first to graduate from the newly reopened Akron Police Academy, supported through Safety and Streets funding, and is the largest class of new police officers in 13 years. The class consists of 6 female graduates and 40 male graduates. The racial demographics of the class are: 22% African American, 76% White, and 2% Hispanic. The recruits range in age from 22 to 40 years old. The class also includes one Akron firefighter, Stacie Frabotta, who will be the first woman to join the ranks of the Akron Fire Department’s arson investigation unit. 

“While this is a great day for Akron, I woke up this morning with deeply conflicted thoughts,” Mayor Dan Horrigan said. “On the one hand, I am filled with pride and hope for a diverse new class of dedicated men and women who are agreeing to put their lives on the line for us. This class was recruited and trained under new policies that specifically focused on diversity and increasing access to opportunity for all deserving candidates. But this dynamic class will enter this profession under a cloud of distrust, brought on by the inexcusable acts of others wearing a police uniform.”

“In 2020, our country is in crisis, in more ways than one. Families across our community, especially families of color, fear for their future, even their lives. Events across our nation have evoked a sense of anger and frustration that threatens our very unity and prosperity. 

"I know that Akron is not immune to racial tension or discrimination, and I am not naïve about our ongoing challenges. But I want to say loudly and clearly, to eliminate any doubt: we will not tolerate injustice here.

"I know the people of Akron, and they demand better of us.  I am incredibly proud of the work we have done together to build relationships, prioritize transparency, and practice humility. I know this good work will continue to serve us well during challenging times like these; and I am asking our community to take this opportunity to dig even deeper, reach out further, and listen more closely to our neighbors in pain. I and my administration will continue to prioritize equity, fairness, and compassion in each and every decision the City makes.  And we need you to help us develop policies and strategies that will keep Akron safe, strong, and unified.

"As Mayor, I want to remind every Akron resident that your life matters, and that we care.  If you have fears, concerns, or ideas, please reach out to my office, to your Council representatives, to your faith leader, coach, teacher, or mentor. There are resources and opportunities for dialogue everywhere in our city. 

"And finally, to our incoming officers, may you never forget the promise you made today to ‘faithfully, honestly and impartially’ discharge your duties as a police officer. We are counting on you to protect all, build trust, and make us proud.  We know you are well-trained, well-equipped, and well-prepared to do just that.” 

For further information, contact:
Ellen Lander Nischt
Press Secretary
Phone: 330-375-2325
E-mail: [email protected]

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