Temple, Philadelphia police departments welcome new officers as recruitment efforts continue

The Temple University and Philadelphia Police Departments welcomed new officers as the agencies ramp up recruitment efforts. 

The new officers graduated on Friday morning at McGonigle Hall. 

With the addition of eight new Temple University officers, the department now has more than 100 on the force in addition to 35 security officers. 

This comes just one month after Temple University Police Sgt. Chris Fitzgerald was fatally shot in the line of duty while chasing suspects. 


Temple University Police Sgt. Chris Fitzgerald laid to rest

Sgt. Chris Fitzgerald, who tragically became the first Temple University police officer killed in the line of duty, is being laid to rest nearly one week after he was fatally shot while trying to apprehend a suspect.

The Philadelphia Police Department gained 30 new officers to the force. 

The need for more police officers comes months after the department restructured, dispersing more than 100 officers in four districts to cover the most violent parts of the city. 

"We're in a time we've never seen before, having the amount of homicides we've had in the city and the amount of shooting victims," First Deputy Commissioner John Stanford said earlier this year. 

Captain John Walker, the commanding officer of the Recruitment and Background Investigation Unit, said there is an extreme need for new officers.

"We are in dire need right now. We want to hire over 1,000 people over the next few years, and we want to hire diverse groups of people from all over," Walker told FOX 29.