NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — With the murder of NYPD Officer Miosotis Familia heavy on his heart, NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill gave an emotional speech to new police recruits Thursday.
As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, the flags outside the Police Academy flew at half-staff Thursday, in a tragic reminder to the 524 anxious recruits inside that they are joining the NYPD during a very tough time.
O’Neill, his heart heavy with loss, addressed the dangers head-on.
“Perhaps you and your families are questioning whether you are making the right decision today – especially after yesterday’s tragedy in the Bronx,” O’Neill said. “Here’s my message to you – it’s worth it.”
But O’Neill also said there would be good days and bad days.
“Truly terrible days – days like we had yesterday when pain and grief push you down to a point where you’re not sure you can get back up, but you’ll get back up because the work of Police Officer Miosotis Familia is not finished. You get back up because it’s your job to finish it.”
A cop’s cop himself with nearly 35 years on the NYPD force, O’Neill said the job would always be memorable.
“We’re angry. We’re sad. We’re frustrated,” he said. “But through times like this, we must remember, policing is about hope.”
Afterward, the commissioner and the department’s top brass addressed one of the lingering questions following Familia’s murder – the installation of bulletproof glass.
The Mayor’s office and the NYPD announced Thursday that the administration will invest an additional $1.3 million toward the installation of bullet-resistant door panels, window inserts and other retrofits for NYPD command vehicles.
Officials said 3,800 police cars will be outfitted with the ballistic door panels and special glass by the end of the year.
There were also questions about whether other vehicles in the NYPD fleet would get the same treatment, including fixed posts such as the Mobile Command Center where Familia was killed.
“We’re taking a look at all the of our fixed posts,” O’Neill said.
If they make it through training, the men and women sworn in Thursday will be on the streets in time for their first big assignment – Times Square on New Year’s Eve.
Mayor Bill de Blasio did attend the swearing-in. He had no public schedule, and was departing Thursday for Berlin and Hamburg, Germany to attend several events surrounding the G20 Summit.