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Police welcomes 21 new recruits; Commissioner declines comment on PBA no confidence vote

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Buffalo: Police welcomes 21 new recruits; Commissioner declines comment on PBA no confidence vote
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The Buffalo Police Department just welcomed 21 new recruits to the police academy, but as YNN's Kevin Jolly tells us, Friday's swearing-in ceremony comes as the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association posted some content on its website critical of Buffalo's police commissioner.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — After weeding through nearly a thousand people who took the last police exam, these 21 men and women became the latest recruits of the Buffalo Police Department.

“Our intent is to find the best of the best and we believe we've done that" said Mayor Byron Brown.

The recruits consist of 15 men and six women. Among the class of 2013 is a former professional basketball player, a car salesman, and a television news producer.

Michael Norwood Jr. grew up in Buffalo and went on to play professional basketball overseas.

"I've always been the type of person that wants to serve the community and uphold the law and this has pretty much been a dream for me," said Michael Norwood.

Mike Ambellan studied criminal justice at Hilbert College but ended up selling cars for the last seven years.

"Ever since I was in school, I always wanted to do something where I could help people, protect people and I grew up in Buffalo. It's great that I'm gonna be able to work for the city that I grew up in and love," said Ambellan.

Ag Dembinska is a former television news producer.

"I've been wanting to do this for years, it's just been in my heart, it just feels right. It’s something that I've wanted to just be able to go out in my community and help my community," said Dembinska.

This new class is being sworn in the same week the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association posted this notice of a no confidence in Police Commissioner Derenda on its website. The notice has since been taken down but YNN asked Derenda about the vote.

“I don't have any response," said Derenda

However, Derenda did talk about how this is just the latest effort in putting more officers on the streets.

"We continue to beef up the manpower, we continue to send classes through and I suspect we'll be back here in August for another class," said Derenda. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP