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Port Authority commences largest police academy class in the department's 86-year history

NEW YORK - The Port Authority today welcomed 275 prospective police officers to its 113th Police Academy class, the largest recruit class in the department's 86-year history.

After being welcomed by Port Authority Police Department leadership, the probationary officers began a rigorous 26-week program at the academy, located in the Port Authority Technical Center in Jersey City. The previous record class was set in 2002 following the 9/11 terror attacks, when 235 recruits were trained to help the agency meet its growing security needs at that time.

Upon graduation of the 2014 class, the agency will have deployed nearly 500 new police officers, many of whom will be assigned to newly operational facilities at the World Trade Center. In addition, the new officers will help the agency move toward its goal of reducing public safety overtime.

The course of study for the recruits includes New York and New Jersey law, police procedures, evidence collection and traditional police training, and additionally, each officer will receive specialized training in counter-terrorism, firefighting and first aid, including the use of defibrillators. The class is composed of 225 men and 50 women, including 12 veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces.

"The record number of officers entering our academy is a testament to the priority we place on providing a safe and secure environment for the traveling public," said Port Authority Chief Security Officer Joe Dunne. "Our recruits come from a variety of backgrounds and possess a wide array of skills that will help us provide the most secure environment for the millions of customers we serve."

The nearly 1,600 members of the Port Authority Police Department are responsible for ensuring the safety and security of all the agency's land, sea, air and rail facilities, which are crucial to moving millions of people and tons of cargo every day. These assets include four airports, four bistate bridges and two tunnels, the Port Authority Bus Terminal, the PATH rail system, the regional ports in New York and New Jersey and the 16-acre World Trade Center site.