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31 new officers to join Atlanta Police Department

ATLANTA (AP) - Atlanta police officials say they're welcoming 31 new officers to the force.

Officials say a new graduating class of officers will be welcomed into the department Tuesday at City Hall. Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Espy says the department is focusing on diversity in recruiting. Espy says the new class includes three female officers, three officers over the age of 35 and three Spanish-speaking officers.

Espy says the new recruits and those in training have increased the department's staffing level to 1,980, just 20 short of the city's goal of employing 2,000 sworn officers.

Officials say the graduation ceremony is the culmination of a 22-week training program at the Atlanta Police Academy, and 12 weeks of field training with veteran officers.

Training includes classes on constitutional law, tactics and arrest techniques.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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