A diverse class of 898 recruits joined the NYPD after a swearing-in ceremony this week, and began training at the NYPD Police Academy in Manhattan on Thursday.

Cadets who pass training will graduate in July.

"New York City police officers have driven down crime by 35% since 2001," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said at the Tuesday ceremony. "You have made a terrific choice and you have a bright future ahead of you."

Members of the January class were born in 44 different countries; 58 have previous military service, including 28 who served in Iraq or Afghanistan; 39% of the recruits hold bachelor's degrees and 23 have earned advanced degrees.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg administered the oath of office to the new class inside Colden Auditorium at Queens College.  

"Each of you is beginning the new year by joining the greatest police department on earth," Mayor Bloomberg said at the ceremony. "That's not a statement of opinion, it's a matter of fact, based on a record of achievement that has made New York the undisputed safest big city in the nation. All New Yorkers owe you a debt of gratitude for the risks that you will take to keep our city safe. So let me be the first to say: Thank you, and good luck on the road ahead."

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