ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Those who have dedicated their time to the Rochester Workforce Development Program are graduating and gearing up for the next phase in their careers.

These graduates have a little break before they start in the Rochester Police Department academy. While they’re proud to head to the next step, recruitment efforts are still strong.

“This isn’t the end, it’s just the beginning,” Janiya Love, a recent Rochester Workforce Development Program graduate says.

The graduates credit most of their current success to the mentors they’ve had during the program. They say this program isn’t even a requirement to become a Rochester Police officer.

“You don’t need this program to become a police officer, but it helps you stay engaged and I think that’s what’s the best deal for recruitment; is not losing your way through this process,” recent graduate Luis Rivera says.

RPD Captain Greg Bello says this isn’t the only way the police department is looking for new recruits.

“We’ve been making in-roads with an internship program with the City of Rochester school district,” Captain Bello says. “We’ve got programs in place that we’re working through with a variety of colleges that we’re making in-roads with. Out of state colleges.”

Getting involved in any of these recruitment programs is as east as making a phone call and making your interest known. Once you make that call, graduates say it’s a great stepping stone that will push you in the right direction.

“They said, ‘Okay we got this group called the workforce development program,'” Love says. “‘I’ll hand you over to Sergeant Collins and we’ll get you started from there.'”

Rivera says, “I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I quickly found out that if you do want to be a police officer, this is the place to be.”

Captain Bello says this is the third graduating class in a row that has a Nepalese officer in in, and he says that’s what makes Rochester so special.

“Going through different community groups and recruiting that way as well,” Captain Bello says. “Bringing what’s unique about Rochester, bringing that into our Police department as well.”

Click here to learn more about the Rochester Police Department recruitment and various programs.