LOS ANGELES—Mayor Eric Garcetti on Wednesday, November 29 inducted the first-ever class of “Pledge to Patrol,” a policing initiative he sponsored in an effort to increase law enforcement diversity and to foster community relations.

The program was first revealed to the public in Garcetti’s State of the City address earlier this year. Pledge to Patrol is known officially as the Associate Community Officer Program (A-COP). The program provides training and paid employment in the civilian sector to those who have participated in Los Angeles Police Department youth programs and are interested in joining the LAPD when they turn 21.

The first Pledge to Patrol class has 28 members, over half of whom are female. Its recruits are drawn from 22 communities across Los Angeles County. Both Mayor Garcetti and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck spoke to the class during its orientation ceremony.

“Pledge to Patrol is designed to identify, retain, and train the next generation of LAPD officers, who are committed to the core values of the Department and to creating safe and healthy communities in Los Angeles,” said Chief Beck.

The program was designed by the LAPD and the City of Los Angeles’ Personnel Department, in partnership with the Mayor’s Innovation Team.