Efforts to bring greater diversity to the region's police agencies will get a bit of a boost with the graduation of this year's Broome County Law Enforcement Academy class.

Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News (file)

The graduation ceremony will be held Friday afternoon at the Forum Theatre in downtown Binghamton.

Sergeant Sam Davis, the director of the academy, said he's proud of the class, which he described as the most diverse "we've ever had."

Davis said 39 recruits from 11 law enforcement agencies will be graduating after undergoing training over a 31-week period.

The class includes three black men, three Asian men and two women.

Police agencies in the Southern Tier have found it difficult to attract women and minority recruits, although many have stepped up their outreach programs over the last few years.

Davis said two of the three black men who are completing this year's academy will be going to work for the Binghamton Police Department. Fourteen of those graduating will be joining the city's force.

The recruits who are about to graduate went through a rigorous training program that started last April. This year's class started with 48 people but nine dropped out. Davis said most of those who didn't finish weren't prepared for the "very strict and very physical" approach to prepare them for a law enforcement career.

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