Selma welcomes 5 new officers, but will they keep them? - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Selma welcomes 5 new officers, but will they keep them?

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SELMA, AL (WSFA) -

On the road and in training Broderick Givan is among the five new Selma police officers starting a new career.

"I'm in training with Officer Smiley right now and I'm enjoying it," said the 28-year-old former construction worker.

It's welcomed news for Selma Police Chief William Riley.

"With the advent of these new five coming on and the potential for more in the near future that's going to make us a more proactive police department," said Riley.

Two of the five will graduate from the police academy later this month, while the remaining three, including Givan, will begin their three month academy work in January.

"You see a lot of different things, you see a lot of different situations and a lot of people," said Givan.

The chief is counting on the additional men to help continue what appears to be a downward trend in the city's overall crime rate. It's down more than 30 percent in the past five years.

Once those officers are on board, though, the chief faces another hurdle; retaining them.

"It's a tall order, but we're not the only department facing that. We believe our incentives are competitive," said Riley.

Newly minted officers are required to give a two-year commitment to the police department that sponsored them. After that, they're free to leave and pursue a higher paying job in law enforcement or even leave the profession.

The starting pay at the Selma Police Department is $28,000 a year.

For now residents like Bobbie Effinger are just glad the new five will bring the Selma Police Department's force up to 50 sworn officers.

"I'm really happy about that. Hopefully we'll see more patrols out there," said Effinger.

Givan is eager to get moving with his new job. He calls it a 'badge of honor' in his hometown.

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