New graduates swear to protect and serve - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New graduates swear to protect and serve

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March 31, 2008

Albany--  More than a dozen new Police Officers will soon hit the streets of Albany. The total number of crime fighters in Albany is now nearly 200. That's a big change from just two years ago when the department was fighting to fill dozens of vacancies. Now almost a full force has taken the oath to protect and serve.  

One by one, thirteen people lined up to face some of the very people they'll protect. Nicovian Price is one of the new faces of APD. "I always had aspirations to be a police officer," said Price.

Price is one of the standouts in Class 223.  He's an honor graduate and the top gun of the class. "The highest possible points that you can get is 100 percent and I shot 99.33 percent," said Price.

But Price isn't only bringing impressive numbers to the force.  He's adding to a previous void. In 2006, more than 20 percent of APD's positions were vacant.

"With these graduates tonight, we only have one vacancy at the current time," said Albany Police Chief James Younger.

Chief Younger began an aggressive campaign to get new recruits. "We utilized a broad base of our resources within the department," said Younger.

As the department fills up, he's not slacking on standards for officers. "We hold very, very high standards for these officers. We expect them to be accountable to the citizens as well as to the department," said Younger.

These men and women have to take a vow to do just that. With oath complete, Officer Price has some advice for the crooks running the streets right now.

"The best advice I have for them is just do what's right because you will get caught," said Price.

Because soon, he and 12 other new officers will be joining the veterans to take back the Good Life City from the bad guys.

"I'm ready to go do my job," said Price.

The new graduates will train for twelve more weeks before they hit the streets on their own. Several Albany Police officers already on board received an upgrade Monday night.

Chief Younger promoted six officers. James Brackin is now a Captain. Alonzo Ingram, Ulysses Austin and Wendy Luster all made it to Lieutenant. Daniel Ball and Anthony Simmons were both promoted to Corporal.  

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