BRIDGEPORT - Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch announced Monday that 100 new police officers are a step closer to coming on board.
The announcement comes less than 24 hours after Bridgeport's second murder in one weekend.
Finch says that the first crop of recruits won't be on patrol until the end of next year at the earliest. The hirings had already been announced, but the city finalized the list of recruits Monday.
Meanwhile, police officers continue to leave the Bridgeport department, meaning that months of screenings can now start before recruits enter the police academy.
Bridgeport's police union president Sgt. Chuck Paris is worried about having too few officers. It will be at least a year and a half before the first 40 new officers hit the streets, and Paris expects another nine officers to retire next month.
Finch says that the initial batch of recruits is 61 percent women and minorities. He says that the new officers need to reflect the community they serve.
"We weren't going to do this and end up with an all-white class," he said. "We weren't going to do this and not have diversity. We did it right; we're proud of it, and we think that people will be safer in the long run."