MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Thirty-four new Milwaukee police officers are ready to hit the streets! The new recruits graduated on Thursday, December 11th in a time when there's a lot of public scrutiny when it comes to police work.
The recruits got cheers and applause from family members and friends during their graduation ceremony held Thursday afternoon.
But this is the climate they're headed into: Just this month, eight people were murdered in Milwaukee. There have been shootings and stabbings, and Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn says officers have recovered more guns off the streets in Milwaukee than police officers in New York.
Meanwhile, nationwide in recent weeks, police officers have been clashing with protesters following grand jury decisions in the cases involving the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.
In Milwaukee, police have been dealing with demonstrations following the shooting of 31-year-old Dontre Hamilton, shot and killed in Red Arrow Park last April by Milwaukee Police Officer Christopher Manney. Hamilton's family continues to await a decision out of the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office as to whether charges should be filed against Manney.
At the graduation ceremony, Chief Flynn addressed the stress that police officers can feel while doing their jobs.
"This is an inherently stressful job. The nature of our job is to resolve conflict. To resolve conflict requires displeasing half the people affected. Our officers at the grassroots level enjoy deep community support," Chief Flynn said.
In his remarks to the graduating class, Chief Flynn said one of their missions is to protect colleagues from using bad judgement, while staying safe on the job.