U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will welcome 20 new citizens at the USCIS Portland field office Friday. USCIS Portland Field Director Cindy Lembarra will administer the Oath of Allegiance to the candidates. Portland Police Chief Frank Clark will join USCIS in welcoming the new citizens, as one of the candidates to be sworn-in is an active Portland Police officer. The Portland Police Department Honor Guard will present the colors.
This will be the first Portland Police officer (at least in recent history) to take the oath and become a U.S. citizen while an active member of the department; and since the civil service ordinance was recently changed to allow the hiring of non-citizen officers. Officer Deni Snajder immigrated from Serbia in 2016 and was hired by PPD in December 2019.
"I was proud to hire Officer Deni Snajder last year, and am humbled to be able to recognize the accomplishments of those being naturalized in our community today,” said Portland Police Chief Frank Clark. “As we continue our efforts to hire the best, the Portland Police Department will seek to diversify its ranks to not only better reflect the demographics of our community, but to tap into the inherent strength that comes from diversity and collaboration itself.
The naturalization candidates come from the following countries: Angola, China, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Germany, Iraq, Jamaica, Morocco, Philippines, Rwanda, Serbia, Spain, Thailand and United Kingdom. The naturalization candidates reside in the following cities and towns: Biddeford, Bridgton, Cornish, Ellsworth, Gorham, Lewiston, Monroe, Portland, Saco, South Portland, Springvale, Westbrook and Windham.