Puthy Buth was all smiles on Wednesday after being sworn in as one of Boston’s newest police officers. He’s also one of several Cambodian police officers who now serve in the police department.
Buth was joined by his three brothers who also work in law enforcement— one is a Lowell police officer, and two are state troopers — and his mother, who had the honor of pinning his badge to his chest.
“This is what I wanted,” said Buth, 27. “This is what I’ve waited for.”
Buth was among 70 police recruits in Class 56-16 who became officers at the Boston Police Academy graduation ceremony at the IBEW Local 103 in Dorchester. Fifty-six of the newly minted officers will go to work for the Boston Police Department, and 14 will serve in Chelsea, Dedham, Medford, Stoughton, Tisbury, and Andover. The racial breakdown of the class included 44 white, nine black, one Hispanic and two Asian recruits.
Those who attended the ceremony got to hear from Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Police Commissioner William B. Evans, Superintendent Lisa R. Holmes, and Officer Anthony Twining, the president of Class 56-16.
Walsh congratulated the graduating class before a standing-room only crowd at the hall on Freeport Street.
“Being a police officer is one of the hardest jobs in the world,” said Walsh. “You’ve all worked extremely hard to get here today....We’re all overflowing with pride.”
Evans said the class included 31 veterans and thanked them for their service. He also commended the class for their charitable activities, including their show of support for Kolton Hessman, a 3-year-old boy from Knoxville, Tenn., who died Jan. 25 while waiting to get a heart transplant. Hessman was recently honored posthumously at the Boston Police Academy in Hyde Park.
“Keep doing those heartfelt acts of kindness in the community,” said Evans.
Evans said officers today have to be more than crime-fighters; they have to be community problem-solvers. “This job’s not easy,” he said. “It’s a very stressful job.”
Evans gave the class some advice. He told them to continue to study, exercise, and remember to wear their vests. “Don’t get complacent,” he said. “Keep the enthusiasm that you have right now.”
Newly minted Boston police officer Derek Marcoaldi was beaming after he received the top marksmanship award and his girlfriend, Kelsey Vail, pinned his badge on his chest. Marcoaldi, 26, described the graduation ceremony as “a long time coming.”
After the ceremony, Officer Renzo Monzon said getting his badge was a “great, great experience.” He’s already looking forward to his first shift in District D-4 in the South End. “I’m happy to get to work,” said Monzon, 30.
Correction: Due to incorrect information supplied by the Boston Police Department, an earlier version of this story mischaracterized Puthy Buth as the first Cambodian to join the BPD.