Albany Police Department Chief John Proctor, left, presents a badge to new recruit Samantha Richardson, right, at an APD swearing-in ceremony on Monday. Richardson was among eight academy graduates to be sworn in. (Jan. 28, 2013)
ALBANY, Ga. -- Eight new recruits who formally joined the ranks of the Albany Police Department at a swearing-in ceremony conducted Monday evening.
Craig Billsby, Luke Bowdre, Larry Hart, Santavis Hawkins, Steven Johnson, Dedra Mack, Jasmine Proctor and Samantha Richardson were sworn in at the ceremony, which was conducted at the APD Law Enforcement Center in downtown Albany as family members of the recruits and a few city officials looked on.
Among the officials present was new Dougherty County Coroner Michael Fowler.
As is standard for a swearing ceremony, the group was lead through the oath of office by APD Chief John Proctor -- of no relation to the new recruit with the same name -- who then presented each with his or her badge before the families were given an opportunity to pin them on and take advantage of a photo opportunity.
"This is a grand occasion, and we don't take it lightly," the police chief said during his remarks to the families. "(The recruits) will miss weddings, funerals (and other special occasions), nonetheless, it doesn't mean you are not in their hearts."
Proctor then had some welcoming words for the new officers.
"Law enforcement is an honorable profession," he said. "It's something you will never get rich doing, but it is rewarding. It is sometimes a thankless job, but there are those out there in the community thankful (for what the police department does)."
The eight new officers have completed their academy training, and are currently doing in-field training. They will continuing with the field training for three months, after which they will go through boards to ensure all the qualifications have been met before they go out on their own.