Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Sunday that an additional 83 new police officers have been deployed, bringing the total number officers deployed to 136 since the start of the new year.

The 83 new officers are part of a push to expand the force by 970 recruits by the end of 2018, according to the mayor’s office. The hiring surge was announced in late 2016 in response to record-setting violence across the city. The plan aims to add new officers to the street each month this year. Fifty-three new officers were deployed in January.

Emanuel praised the new officers for having “answered the call to protect their communities, serve their city and ‘Be the Change,’” which is the name of the recruitment campaign to diversify the department.

The recruits are part of ensuring “a safer, stronger future for all of us,” Emanuel added.

The mayor emphasized that training also included instruction on crisis intervention, de-escalation, use of force, community building and critical thinking.

“Today, neighborhoods across the city are welcoming new police officers that have been trained to focus their efforts on making our streets safer and building partnerships with residents to become true community police officers,” Superintendent Johnson said.

A police entry exam is scheduled for May 5 at McCormick Place, the mayor’s office said. Registration is open through Feb. 28.

The last exam, held in December, attracted more than 14,000 candidates, the mayor’s office said.