BRIDGEPORT - The Bridgeport Police Department welcomed its newest police academy recruit class at a graduation ceremony Monday night at the Klein Memorial Auditorium.

The department added 31 new officers to the force.

Police Chief AJ Perez says the class is among the most diverse in the department’s history, with nine women. The class in total includes 29 Bridgeport residents.

Chief Perez says the department took extra steps this year to make sure its officers better reflected the community.

The new officers will officially start this week.