FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — The thin blue line in Fayetteville just got thicker as Fayetteville Police Department swore in 19 new officers.
Two new Fayetteville Police recruit classes graduated on Friday. There was a ceremony at Manna Church on Cliffdale Road for the recruits. The diverse group ranges in age, race and gender.
“Society has diversity. People want to understand an officer that show up and looks a little bit like them,” Fayetteville Chief of Police Gina Hawkins said.
Megan Brodbeck was a stay at home mom just a few months ago. Now, she will live her dream as one of Fayetteville’s finest.
“I want to provide a safe community for my kids as well as other kids and I want to show my son and my daughter their mom can do anything she sets her mind to,” Brodbeck said.
Like many other law enforcement agencies, FPD has recruitment challenges and veteran officers leaving for retirement. Chief Hawkins knows recruitment is an ongoing part of the job.
“That’s why it’s important when we are recruiting lateral officers to bring them on and have incentives,” Hawkins said.
After six months and more than 800 hours of training, graduate Joshua Wiggen said he’s ready to take his training to the streets of Fayetteville.
“I’m not exactly good with people skills. So, I hope to gain those people skills to gain the trust of the public and be able to help anyone,” Wiggen said.
Chief Hawkins said after the new recruits start on Monday, FPD will only have 23 vacant officer positions. The city has allocated funds for 431 officers total. The chief said two more new classes of recruits are in the works.