by GLENN COUNTS / NewsChannel 36
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Just like the officers who graduated from the academy Friday, Marcus Jackson once walked across the stage. Although he allegedly tarnished his badge, no one was ashamed of the one they received.
“Oh it means everything. Any police officer should be extremely proud of the badge and make sure he honors it right,” says new officer Mark Rogers-Price.
US Attorney General Eric Holder, the nation’s top cop, was on hand for this graduation.
It was a stimulus grant that paid for the new officers.
They are also the first to come through the departments new screening procedures.
Capt Gerald Smith says, “At a big bank you can fill out an application and in two weeks they can hire you and here at the minimum you’re going through three months of background investigation.”
The officers realize they are entering a difficult PR environment with alleged misconduct in the news, but they feel the academy has made them ready.
“There were many hard days sometimes, a test sometimes, defensive tactics,” says new officer Charlissa Reiber,
“It’s a big big role to take on and i’m looking forward to it,” says Rogers-Price.
The rookies will work with a training officer for 16 weeks before they are on their own.
5 of them are headed to the Eastway division where Jackson worked before he was fired.