13 New Montgomery Police Officers Survive Academy And Graduate - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

13 New Montgomery Police Officers Survive Academy And Graduate

13 New Montgomery Police Officers Get Higher Starting Salary And New Badges 13 New Montgomery Police Officers Get Higher Starting Salary And New Badges

One by the one they marched into a new career in downtown Montgomery and fathers like Darius Collier couldn't be more proud, a picture-perfect moment mixed in with a little nervousness.

"I worry about him getting shot," Collier said.

A concern shared by many families at the Armory Learning Arts Center. Collier's son Jeremiah Collier has joined the thin blue line knowing that two of the three Montgomery police officers who died over the last year died in the line of duty.

"I believe God has me where He wants me and all I can do is pray, and this is something I've wanted to do for a long time," Collier said.

"That comes with the job and you have to be prepared for the unexpected," Collier, Sr., said.

Even the mother of two young children is aware of what she's getting into. Still, no regrets for Melissa Jones, no sitting around wondering what might happen down the road.

"I've wanted to be a police officer since I was a child," Jones said.

Mid-way through the graduation ceremony the men and women in blue took the oath and this is the first class to wear the Montgomery Police Department's new badge. The new, golden-looking badge replaces the silver badge officers wore for 13 years. The new badge was paid for with money police confiscated from drug dealers.

The graduates will also start enjoying the department's new starting salary for police officers. It was $30,490. Now it's $36,543 a year.

It starts all over again Friday morning at the Montgomery Police Academy. A new class of 24 candidates, a new round of life-long dreams and fears.

"It weighs on your mind," said David Jones.

In fact, Jones is one of the new recruits who will attend the academy for the next 19 weeks. He's Officer Melissa Jones' husband.

"It's a risk we take but you have to struggle through it," Jones said.

40% of the recruits typically drop out of the police academy after the first few weeks but David Jones is convinced he's up to the challenge since he spent a few years as a military police officer in the U.S. Army.

Despite the potential dangers, David and Melissa Jones and Jeremiah Collier say there is no doubt they've pinned down the right career, a career armed with personal faith.

Reporter: Bryan Henry

 

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