COPS Director Bernard Melekian joined Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn July 22 to administer the oath of honor to 47 police academy recruits who have a special connection to COPS. That’s because their positions are funded by a COPS grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Melekian will also play a special role as the class sponsor.
In 2009, COPS awarded $10.2 million to the Milwaukee Police Department to fund the hiring of 50 officers — part of the COPS role in supporting economic recovery and preventing reductions in numbers of police officers across the United States.
The Director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services told the new cadets that they were embarking on a challenging, exciting and demanding career. "You will be the living embodiment of the Constitution," Melekian said. He added that if they were looking for action and adventure, they would see plenty of that, but that building relationships with communities was an essential part of their job. During his career, “everything I expected to happen, did," Melekian said.
Following the oath was a ceremony outside in which Chief Flynn, together with Director Melekian, raised the American flag in front of the academy. The flag was brought back from Iraq by Milwaukee Police Officer Eric Wurth who was deployed there last year and who has now returned safely home. Officer Wurth continues to serve the city of Milwaukee as a police officer. Wurth joined in the raising of the flag, along with the Milwaukee Police Honor Guard.
"It is an honor for Milwaukee to have the COPS Director Melekian recognize its police department as exemplary and to be one of the few departments in the country to receive the prestigious COPS grant for 50 officers," Chief Flynn said.