Wednesday, 28 Sep 2022

'Our dream come true,' husband and wife say after being sworn in as Nassau police recruits

'Our dream come true,' husband and wife say after being sworn in as Nassau police recruits

Long Island (Writer)-On Friday, Supinski, a native of Poland, took a second oath as he was sworn in during a ceremony in Garden City — alongside his wife, Katarzyna Brojakowska — as a Nassau County Police Department recruit.

"This is our dream come true," said Supinski, of Maspeth, Queens, who only learned he was accepted into the recruitment class on Wednesday.

Brojakowska, a Polish native who became a citizen in 2018, said training to join the department with her husband of four years will be a challenge.

"We never thought of it or planned for it," she said. "It's going to be difficult. We are going to have to be separated. We know we have to stay loyal to each other."

Patryk Supinski and his wife, Latarzyna Brojakowski, were among the...

Patryk Supinski and his wife, Latarzyna Brojakowski, were among the 59 new Nassau County Police recruits sworn in during a ceremony at the NCPD Center for Training and Intelligence in Garden City on Friday. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Nearly one-third of the class of 59 recruits, who will begin seven months of physical and educational training, are minorities, representing one of the department's most diverse classes, according to Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder.

The class includes 11 Hispanic recruits, four Blacks and four Asians, along with 11 women, 20 candidates with prior law enforcement experience and 14 recruits who previously served in the military, officials said.

Ryder said the goal is for the department to reflect the communities they service.

"This group is well disciplined," he said. "They'll go through the same seven-month training and be the same quality officer that has left here over the past 95 years."

Another 12 recruits, who will eventually join village police departments across the county, will be sworn in on Monday, Ryder said.

Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder addresses new police recruits during..

Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder addresses new police recruits during their swearing-in ceremony at the NCPD Center for Training and Intelligence in Garden City on Friday. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

A Newsday investigation last year showed that Nassau hired just 36 Black police officers from a pool of 2,508 Black applicants who had taken the 2012 police test. Of 3,389 Hispanic applicants from the same test, 89 were hired.

Black and Hispanic candidates were eliminated from contention during the hiring process, which includes a physical fitness test and a background investigation, at higher rates than their white counterparts despite decades of federal monitoring by the U.S. Justice Department, Newsday found.

In total, roughly 15% of the 2,400 member Nassau Police force are minorities, according to department statistics.

Ryder said, on average, about 5% of recruits won't make it through the rigorous training.

"You're about to start a journey … where you will be trained at the highest level on your physical abilities on your academic abilities," he said. "You're going to be going through training that's going to help you deal with our very diverse communities, understanding your own implicit bias. You're going to learn about de-escalation, the art of what we call verbal judo."

County Executive Bruce Blakeman told the recruits that their training will be among the most challenging, but rewarding, experiences of their lives.

"You will be expected today to conduct yourself with dignity and integrity and honor because those are the foundations of this police department," Blakeman said. "But you will be, when you graduate, in a police department where many, many around the nation will envy you. Remember, we have thousands and thousands of applicants for this police department. But you are the ones that were chosen."

Robert Brodsky is a breaking news reporter who has worked at Newsday since 2011. He is a Queens College and American University alum.

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