RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Staffing shortages have impacted many industries in recent years, including law enforcement.
Friday afternoon, the Wake County Sheriff’s Office addressed that issue by graduating its latest class of deputies.
Twenty new deputies were sworn in at the sheriff’s office’s 31st Basic Law Enforcement Training Academy Graduation.
“I always knew I wanted to be in law enforcement,” said Cameron Green, a new deputy with the sheriff’s office. “Then I saw there were openings with the sheriff’s office.”
“I have a passion for people. I love to help people. I find myself to be pretty good at it,” said new-Deputy Daniker Hunt.
Joseph Bove, another one of the new deputies, shared journey after serving in the Army National Guard and dealing with medical troubles.
“I had a couple of heart surgeries at 18, so unfortunately I wasn’t able to serve in that capacity,” he said. “So as soon as I was released and discharged, I still had that urge and that fire to still want to serve and protect people who can’t protect themselves.”
His uncle, who flew in from Arizona, says Bove persevered for his passion.
“He made it, and it took a lot, but I’m very very very proud of him. So I had to be here for this,” said Bove’s uncle Andres R Solano.
Friday’s graduation was the first of Sheriff Willie Rowe’s administration, which cut down on vacancies and raised starting pay this summer.
The new Wake County budget now allows a starting pay $50,540 a year for deputies and detention officers, attracting more applicants to keep the community safe.
“We’re delighted, excited, and looking forward to putting these ladies and gentlemen to work to serve the community,” the sheriff said.
As the new deputies begin their roles, there’s one thing that means the most.
“It’s always great knowing your family supports what you’re doing, and they’re all so proud of me,” said Deputy Green.
The new deputes start field training next Saturday, which will last for 12 weeks. They will then serve at the Wake County courthouse for a year, before getting assigned to different communities.