Port Authority Graduates 151 New Police Officers In Academy Class With Highest Number Of Female Recruits

Photo Courtesy of Port Authority of New York & New Jersey

In a significant stride toward diversity and inclusion, the Port Authority today marked a historic moment as it proudly graduated its latest batch of police recruits, 151 in all, boasting the highest representation of female graduates to date. This achievement not only underscores the agency’s commitment to gender parity but also highlights the expanding opportunities for women in traditionally male-dominated fields.

The 121st graduation ceremony took place at St. Joseph’s High School in Metuchen.  Additionally, the new class was also PAPD’s most diverse in its history, fully representing the rich diversity of the region that the Port Authority serves. This accomplishment is a testament to the Port Authority’s unwavering efforts to promote equal opportunities and a workplace culture that celebrates differences.

The graduating class included 130 college graduates; 20 military veterans; 84 with prior law enforcement experience; and 13 with both military and prior law enforcement service.  With the new class, the agency’s police workforce now totals 2,040 members who secure the agency’s widespread portfolio of infrastructure assets.

This encouraging development aligns with broader societal shifts, where women are increasingly seeking and attaining positions in sectors that were once deemed unconventional. By excelling in fields traditionally dominated by men, these women are not only rewriting narratives but also inspiring younger generations to believe in their own potential and capabilities.

As part of their 26 weeks of training in one of the most rigorous police academies in the country, the recruits studied New York and New Jersey laws, received comprehensive instruction in police procedures, firearms usage, first aid, LGBTQ sensitivity training and counterterrorism techniques.

“These young men and women are among the best of the best in their chosen profession, and we are pleased to welcome them to the Port Authority family,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “The PAPD is tasked with policing and protecting some of the most critical infrastructure assets in the nation. They have received top notch training in all aspects of law enforcement and are ready and eager to serve.”

“Safety and security are paramount to the Port Authority’s mission, and this new class of police officers will play a critical role in protecting our facilities,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “This diverse class of new officers have taken an oath to protect and defend the public to the best of their ability and we welcome them to the force.”

“The PAPD is among the finest police agencies in the nation, and we believe these recruits are up to the task of upholding this force’s storied legacy and reputation built over its past decades of public service,” saidPort Authority Chief Security Officer Greg Ehrie.  “We are particularly proud that this class reflects our strengthened recruitment initiatives among women, because female police officers bring a unique perspective to the law enforcement field. The addition to these new 30 female officers will help improve our policing efforts within the communities that we serve.”

“Our recruits undergo an extensive amount of training in all aspects of police work, and we are proud to have them join our force and begin their law enforcement careers,” said Port Authority Police Superintendent Edward Cetnar. “These officers come from a diverse background, as it is important for our force to reflect the communities that we serve.”

The Port Authority’s commitment to gender diversity extends beyond recruitment numbers. The agency has actively implemented policies and initiatives aimed at ensuring equitable advancement opportunities for all employees, not just those on the police force. Through mentorship programs, leadership training, and networking events, the Port Authority nurtures an environment where talent can flourish irrespective of gender.

As the agency continues its journey toward inclusivity, this milestone serves as a reminder that diversity is a cornerstone of progress. The accomplishments of these female graduates pave the way for a future where differences are valued, and barriers are dismantled.