The Newark Police Department welcomed 54 new recruits this week, following a 24-weeks training academy, NJ.com reports.

At the graduation ceremony of the 115th class, Mayor Cory Booker reminded the recruits that the city laid off and furloughed workers, slashed salaries, and shrank other programs to pay for these new recruits. Their staring pay will be $42,038 their first year.

The city remains one of New Jersey's most dangerous, even though crime is falling, with more than 300 shootings in 2009. Currently the department has 1,337 officers.

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