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LPD Welcomes 9 New Officers

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LAWTON, Okla._ The Lawton Police Department welcomed nine new officers Friday.

The graduating cadets will provide some much-needed manpower to the department.

Friday began with the ceremonial bell ringing, a sign of the officers' call to service, and continued later in the day with a badge pinning ceremony, to culminate a grueling 23-week training program.

 

"It's been really tough, but it's been a long ride. We got through it together, and I am just really excited to be here," said Girald Capps.

 

For new officer Girard Capps, public service was in his blood. Capps came from a long line of firefighters, but wanted to take a different path.

"It really was not anything that I grew up wanting to do. But once I started the academy and got into it, I just decided to try it out one day. I definitely know it was a good decision," said Capps.

Born and raised in Lawton, he is proud to give back to his hometown.

"All of my family lives here. My family is very important to me. It is a real big honor to serve Lawton and not just any random city," said Capps.

In his speech Friday, Capps talked about the challenges that the group of faced together, being tested to the max. But to Training Division Commander, Lieutenant Ron Seratte that is what prepares the men and women for what to expect when they put on their badge.

"We go through every possible training scenario that we can to get them prepared for the street. It culminates with the graduation, and they learn the rest on the job," said Seratte.

And while the academy can be grueling, it allows the new officers to walk in as civilians and out 23-weeks later as police officers. A rewarding experience for the whole team. And as his badge was pinned on Friday, Capps said learning will remain his focus.

"Learning as much as possible. It is not a job that you can just start doing one day. There is a lot of preparation. So from here on out, I plan on learning for the rest of my career," said Capps.

The nine new officers will spend the next four months training with a veteran officer before getting their team assignment and hitting the streets on their own.

 

 

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