By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Another batch of Philadelphia police officers is hitting the streets, after graduating today from the Philadelphia Police Academy.

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At today’s ceremony, held for the first time in the new headquarters of the Fraternal Order of Police union hall in Northeast Philadelphia, police commissioner Charles Ramsey says the new officers will be assigned to foot patrol in what he called some “challenged” neighborhoods in North and West Philadelphia.

“You’ll need good insoles for those shoes,” he warned.  “We start all recruits out on foot.”

Among the recruit officers receiving awards were Clarence Mason, who scored a 96.8 on the pistol range, and Dana Bradley, who had a 97.8 grade point and was class valedictorian.

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“While classes at the academy have concluded, the street has its own lessons for us — experiences that books cannot teach,” Bradley told her classmates.

This small graduating class of 22, plus two additional classes of 75 cadets currently going through the academy, will bring to just under 6,400 the number of sworn Philadelphia officers by summertime.

Mayor Nutter pledged last year at this time to maintain a strength of 6,500 officers over the course of his five-year plan.

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