New Savannah-Chatham Metro officers sworn in - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

New Savannah-Chatham Metro officers sworn in

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

One of the biggest classes in recent history for the Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department took the oath Friday. Thirty-one new officers got their badges, and soon, their assignments.

These officers will go a long way in helping the department become more proactive as opposed to strictly reactive. With a raise of the right hand and a sworn agreement to serve and protect, these new officers are ready to hit the streets to keep you safe.

"It means a lot to know that I'm going to be giving back to my community in a way that's bigger than myself,” said new Officer Wesley Sapp.

The class, one of the biggest in years for Metro, joins a force flooded with young, fresh officers. Every ceremony like this excites other officers from the top down.

"Anytime we have a graduation ceremony, everyone in the organization gets excited because what that means to us is that we have more officers out in the field,” said SCMPD Assistant Chief Julie Tolbert.

A job few are qualified for and even fewer agree to do, these new patrol men and women have their sights set on Savannah's youngest generation.

"I feel like a lot of us are gearing towards being very youth-focused, giving back to the youth especially because they are the future of tomorrow,” said Sapp.

Friday’s ceremony also featured the promotion of seven new sergeants. These officers are the front-line supervisors.

"They're helping to make that officer into a great officer by keeping him or her under the proper guidance,” said Tolbert.

Metro now has 623 officers with three vacancies. This doesn't include the 100 additional officers the chief has requested from city and county leaders.

The effort to recruit and retain officers will continue.

"We're just very proud and very pleased to have them. I just pray that we can continue to get more and more applicants to apply for this job,” said Tolbert.

That's something many in this community wouldn't mind seeing either. The officers will now team up with a veteran cop and ride along for a few months before being sent out on their own.

They'll be spread out among the precincts based on the need.

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