Selma, AL - Family, friends, and fellow law enforcement officers applauded as the 144th class of the Alabama Police Academy were sworn in Thursday morning.
The officers completed the 12-week training program held at the Alabama Criminal Justice Training Center in Selma. They were taught the basics from Alabama state laws, patrol techniques, and how to communicate efficiently.
Elba Police Officer Christopher Byrd said, "It taught us a lot. It taught us you need to be alert at all times. Once you become lax or you start getting complacent that complacency can kill you in the future."
But officials made it clear, their aren’t done learning.
Gulf Shores Police Chief Edward Delmore was the guest speaker.
He said, "You’re training has really just begun, and you have to remember that every day the public, people that we serve, are depending on you to be professional and to do your jobs well."
The new officers will spend the next few months with a field training officer, and they are ready to hit the road.
OFFICER EUGENIA WILLIAMS/DOTHAN POLICE DEPARTMENT
"I am very excited. We are all very excited. We are ready to get into the meat of our career and utilize all of these tools that we’ve learned here," said Dothan Police Officer Eugenia Williams.
"It’s kind of bittersweet. I’m really exciting to get on the street and start patrolling in my area and work in my community," said Byrd.
Dothan Police Officer Donald Petersen said, "Excited to get on the road and use the things that I’ve learned. Take care of business."
But first, class president, Ozark Police Officer Michael Dodson shared some wise words.
"Arostotle once said, ‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence therefore is not an act, but a habit.’ So I challenge all of you to obtain the habit of excellence."
Sixteen officers from Dothan, Ozark, Ashford, Elba, and Opp were part of this graduating class.
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