GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- This city's police department did something Wednesday it hasn't done in nearly five years: it added officers.
10 new officers took the oath in ceremonies at the police station. Budget pressure in recent years led to the reduction in 60 police positions since the recession took hold, according to Chief Kevin Belk.
The new recruits, "are long overdue," Belk told a crowd of proud family members, friends and other police officers. The recruits now begin a four month period of road patrol training with field officers before they go on solo patrol.
The new officers come largely from Michigan. Some have previous police experience with departments including Detroit, Muskegon, and Charlotte. Several have significant military experience, including Ofc. Scott Sale, who was a lieutenant in the U.S. Army Military Police Company. Sale served in Afghanistan where he was awarded a Bronze Star.
The Grand Rapids Police Department is accepting applications now for its next recruit class. They will start in June.