The City of Newburgh Police Department welcomed on board three Newburgh Free Academy graduates last week at a brief ceremony at City Hall.
The new officers, Lawrence Eberwein, Kristopher Antonacci, and Edwin Jandres are all Town of New Windsor Residents, and must graduate the Police Academy before joining the rest of the force.
“I’ve wanted to be an officer since I could talk,” said Antonacci. “I have a family with a long line of officers so this was a perfect fit for me.”
Jandres was a student in the Criminal Justice program at NFA, the class sparked an interest for him in law enforcement. The three officers are excited to become part of the department but nervous to go through the grueling tests in the academy.
“We are constantly battling attrition with young officers,” said Police Chief Doug Solomon. “This brings us closer to the 85 force of officers we are budgeted for. We need to keep the ranks filled, we always have a group in training or in the academy, if we had all 85 officers at once we would be in a much better situation.”
The department will hold a police exam in September, Solomon is looking to create a recruitment committee to bring in residents from the City of Newburgh to take the test. They are creating a campaign to educate and prepare city residents to pass the exam and the police academy.
Solomon is looking to fill up the 85 budgeted positions, the ideal number of officers to maintain the city would be 95 to 100 officers in the department.
“We are happy to have these young men join our police department,” said City Manager, Joe Donat. “The men and women of the City of Newburgh Police Department are the finest I’ve ever met. It’s an honor to attend this ceremony and upon graduation they will see everything the job entails.”