July 30 was historic for the City of Lawrence and its police department.
Eight new officers were sworn in at a ceremony that took place in the Public Assembly Room at the Lawrence Government Center, 9001 E. 59th St. Deputy Chief Gary Woodruff said it was largest group of new officers sworn at one time, in Lawrence Police Dept. history. Mayor Steve Collier led them through their oaths of service to the city.
New officers include Mateo Agresta, Cody Anderson, Derek Byerly, Jason Heiney, Charles Kingery, Lindsey Marshall, Michael McGaha and Matthew Williams.
“Never before in the history of our city have we been able to welcome eight new recruits to our police department at one time. That’s big for us,” Lawrence Mayor Steve Collier said at the ceremony. “We are continuing to upgrade our fleet using the latest technologies like body-worn (cameras), and we’ll soon be moving into the first dedicated police station in the history of Lawrence.”
The new officers bring a variety of experience and education to LPD, including four graduates from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy and joining LPD from other area law enforcement agencies. The group also was comprised of college graduates, U.S. Armed Forces veterans and correctional officers.
Woodruff said each new officer began the hiring process in January, from hundreds of applicants. The process included physical agility testing, written examinations, oral interviews, detailed background checks, digital voice stress analysis and psychological and medical evaluations.
LPD Chief David Hofmann said he was pleased with the new additions to LPD’s outstanding force.
“I consider myself to be the luckiest chief in the nation to be able to lead the excellent men and women who make up this exception police department at this exciting time in our history,” Hofmann said. “Positive change seems to be an ongoing theme in this city.”
Hofmann said this new class of officers brings the LPD force to 62 officers who work to keep the community secure.
Woodruff said the new officers will begin training immediately, with four from the group scheduled to attend ILEA in October.