Three Laurel Police Department officers were officially sworn in Friday morning at the Laurel City Hall building by Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee.
Officer Justin Clifton was sworn in and has seven years of law enforcement experience. Clifton served for the Gulfport Police Department before coming to Laurel’s department. He is also a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.
Officer Timothy Daughdrill was sworn in and has over two decades of experience serving as a law enforcement officer. Daughdrill served at the Brookhaven Police Department and totaled 24 years of experience before serving for the Laurel Police Department.
William Tanner Hemby also joined the Laurel Police Department after serving with the Brookhaven Police Department prior. Hemby has two years of prior experience.
Laurel Police Chief Tommy Cox was excited to bring in three more officers, but most importantly, officers with experience.
“What you saw today was three experienced officers [being sworn in]. The lowest experienced officer still has two years of experience, but one has seven and the other 24 years of experience. When you have people who have been out there and have already been trained, for the most part, it is a plus for the whole department,” said Chief Cox.
All three of the officers have been assigned to patrol operations per Chief Cox.
“They are all assigned as patrol officers and assigned to different shifts. Everyone we hire at the Laurel Police Department starts on patrol. Although as I mentioned earlier, Officer Clifton was involved in a traffic stop earlier this week that netted over two ounces of methamphetamine and a handgun. So, it is already paying dividends having experienced people coming into the department compared to someone who has never been a police officer. It’s a win-win for the department.”
The Laurel Police Department is budgeted for 55 officers on staff, however, they are still in need of a few more officers to fill the total need according to Chief Cox. Because of that, they will be taking applications to join the force until February 6.
“We are currently taking applications and we have two that are going to the police academy on Sunday,” said Chief Cox. “We are taking applications for our February 6 test. You have to get everything together and apply beforehand right here at the human resources office at Laurel City Hall. This is for if you’ve never been a police officer before or never been to the academy. If anyone has any questions about it or what they need to work on, they are more than welcome to contact me at the police department.”