Akron police are stronger by seven as a group of men and women formally were added to the ranks Wednesday afternoon.
The five men and two women — Treva Mathews, Ryan McDowell, Matthew Pfouts, Trumaine Riley, Kevin Rybka, Kalei Sanders and Brett Talcott — were sworn into duty by Mayor Don Plusquellic during a ceremony inside City Council chambers. They start patrols Monday.
The department now totals 412 officers, and the city intends to continue adding officers in the next several months to meet or exceed its budgeted number of 447.
Currently, 21 recruits, including the seven sworn in Wednesday, have received conditional-hire offers, city spokeswoman Stephanie York said. The 14 others are going through certification training and are expected to join the force officially in the coming months.
In addition, the city last week won a federal grant to pay for 10 more police officers.
Last year, Akron police conducted a massive marketing campaign to attract candidates, especially minorities. Of the seven new officers, three are black.
York said it is difficult to project a total officer strength figure because of attrition. However, the ranks will total at least 447 to meet the requirements of federal grants obtained to offset payroll costs.