13 Hartford police recruits continue training amid pandemic

Hartford

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– How do you train for hands-on essential work in the middle of a global pandemic? That’s what police recruits are up to in Hartford.

A black Jeep was driving the wrong way and crashed head-on. Now these police recruits are investigating. From missing a person case, to a street level drug investigation, but this isn’t real. It’s a training scenario.

“Which is what happening out on the city streets,” said Lt. Paul Cicero.

25-year-old Arisha Lopez was an EMT in Manchester working along cops.

“Just seeing what they did really sparked an interest. Just how much they give back,” said Arisha Lopez, East Hartford, HPD Recruit.

Now she’s one of 13 Capital City Recruits. The first class of its kind in times of Covid.

“They got hired right around the time Covid was a household word. The first six weeks or so in it was very challenging,” said Cicero.

Their first six weeks were on Zoom. But they put the power points and law books aside Friday.

“It’s a lot stricter. It’s like bootcamp. It’s going to be hard. It’s going to test you mentally and physically,” said Lopez.

Among the 13, ten men and three women. A diverse group all slated to become Hartford police officers, part of an effort to make the city more reflective of the community it serves. The department’s now made up of 40 percent minorities and women. And these recruits say tensions between police and the communities they serve are not lost on them.

“We want to set a good example for police officers just because what’s going on now,” said Lopez.

After 29 weeks, these recruits are looking forward to graduation on Dec. 4.

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