Costa Mesa will soon have five more cops on the streets.
The new officers graduated from the Orange County Sheriff's Regional Training Academy in Tustin this week, the Costa Mesa Police Department announced Thursday.
They'll be paired with experienced officers working patrol for six more months of training in Costa Mesa.
A five-officer graduating class is unusually large for the department.
Typically, an agency of Costa Mesa's size will send two or three recruits at a time through the sheriff's six-month program, Police Chief Tom Gazsi said.
But lately, Costa Mesa has been trying to hire officers as quickly as possible to fill a backlog of openings.
For years, replacements weren't hired when officers retired or transferred to other agencies. In December 2012, the department announced its first officer hire in four years.
In June, about 30 vacancies remained at the department, which would have 136 officers if fully staffed.
The city's human resources department did not immediately provide an updated number of vacancies Friday.
Costa Mesa police noted that one of the new hires stood out among the academy's 44-officer class.
Officer David Frankle earned two awards — recognizing him for best overall performance at the academy and for earning the highest-average scores on exams, according to the CMPD.
Frankle's peers also selected him as the class president, Lt. Greg Scott said in a news release.
Gazsi said Frankle's success at the academy is a testament to the work of Costa Mesa's training and recruitment staff to find the best available hires.
"I can't tell you how thankful I am for their hard work and diligence during this period of rebuilding," he said.
According to the Police Department, besides Frankle, the graduates are officers Zachary Blythe, Joseph Carboni, Jesse Chartier and Trevor Jones.