CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The Charleston City Police Department’s newest recruits took the oath of office Friday morning. Four men, two from West Virginia and two from New York state, will begin training at the West Virginia Police Academy Monday.
Police Chief Brent Webster said the recruits are much needed.
“With these four hires we’ll be at 160 and we have an authorized strength of 163. So we still have three more to hire,” according to Webster. “It seems like we’re always hiring because there’s always a retirement.”
Mayor Danny Jones gave the recruits their oath of office at city hall. They’ll spend the the next 16 weeks at the academy and graduate in late April. Then they’ll spend another five months in the department’s field training program before they’ll hit the streets on their own.
Webster said that’s a day everyone looks forward to. Not only will the recruits be on the beat, it can also mean movement on the force.
“It allows us to do different things. If we have a vacancy in the detective bureau or we want to add a bike officer or we want to add a number here or there. We want to make sure though that our 911/first responders get taken care of first,” explained the chief.
Ryan Marks, from Long Island, applied for a position on the force back in 2012 at the age of 18.
“Two years went by. I thought it was all over. I figured I never got anything,” he said. “Three months, four months ago I got a call back.”
And he is eager to become a Charleston police officer.
“This is my dream, being a police officer. It is without a doubt my dream. It’s everything I ever wanted.”
By this fall Marks’ dream will be a reality.