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Eight recruits join APD

Taking the oath of office as new Albany Police Department officers from police Chief John Proctor Monday in the Law Enforcement Center are, from right, Brittany Sealy, Robert J. Riddle Jr., Sherika Price, Lataevia Jackson, Timothy Hogg Jr., Vason Curtis, Lakesha Bryant and Robert Ausby Jr.

Taking the oath of office as new Albany Police Department officers from police Chief John Proctor Monday in the Law Enforcement Center are, from right, Brittany Sealy, Robert J. Riddle Jr., Sherika Price, Lataevia Jackson, Timothy Hogg Jr., Vason Curtis, Lakesha Bryant and Robert Ausby Jr.

ALBANY, Ga. -- After graduating from the Police Academy in Tifton Friday, eight recruits became Albany Police Department officers at about 6:30 p.m. Monday in the Law Enforcement Center.

Eyes wide with enthusiasm, newly sworn Officer Lakesha Bryant summed up her feelings and the feelings of her classmates.

"I just want to protect and serve," Bryant said. "Really, that's it."

There might be a little more to it than that, Bryant's mother, Beatrice Tinson, said.

About two years ago Bryant's grandmother was beaten up by a burglar in her home.

"She always had an interest in the police, but she has a degree in pre-med," Tinson said. "I think she got more interested after that."

Bryant went on to Albany State University to earn her master's degree in criminal justice before attending the Police Academy.

The tough training, which included long hours of class work and hands-on training that included experiencing pepper spray in the face, did not deter Bryant or her classmates.

"I want to stay here for 30 years as a career," Bryant said. "My family is here, and this is where I belong."

Police Chief John Proctor welcomed all of the new officers into their new family.

He said that they could count on his support and the support of the others in the police family.

He also called for their support as part of the family.

"When you support this organization, you also support those folks out there," Proctor said as he swept an arm indicating the friends and family of the recruits that gathered for the ceremony and, through them, the whole Albany community.

Mayor Willie Adams said he was proud of the quality recruits he saw during the swearing-in ceremony.

"I'm very proud of what I see here today," Adams said. "I feel safe and secure knowing the quality of the police we are recruiting."