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Cleveland Police has welcomed the first cohort of fully qualified officers into the Force for seven years.The 23 officers, deployed across the Force area, have recently completed their two year probationary period and are now fully-fledged police officers ready for independent patrol.The new intake is the first cohort of fully qualified officers welcomed in to the Force since a lengthy recruitment freeze was lifted in 2014.Chief Constable Iain Spittal said: “I am delighted to welcome our first cohort of fully qualified police officers. Their hard work has paid off and they are now fully-fledged to go out and help protect our communities alongside their colleagues. “I am very proud of their achievements and they should rightly be very proud too. They are already an integral part of our team and I look forward to seeing them progress throughout their careers.”Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland, Barry Coppinger, said: “I have followed the progress of these very capable new officers with great interest and I am sure our communities will welcome them, and their work going forward, in helping to keep us safe.”Recruitment has begun for Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) and Special Constables to join the Force. There will be a four week application window from the launch date which will be closed when 200 applications are received or on Wednesday 22nd February, whichever comes first. Applications will open at 11am on Wednesday 25th January on the Cleveland Police website, www.cleveland.police.uk.