The newest group of civilian police officers at Fort Gordon received their badges and credentials Friday.
"We're on a higher alert because of possible threats to the installation," said Lt. Col. Jessie Goggins, military police battalion commander and director of public safety. He spoke at Friday's brief ceremony honoring the seven newest Department of the Army civilian police officers.
"Your duties are to protect, assist and defend. You volunteer to do that. I'm honored and proud to say thank you."
The group recently completed a 120-hour post police academy training course. They are the second class of police officers to be trained for gate and patrol duty at Fort Gordon.
"They've already gone through police training," said Capt. Gerald Lawson, police supervisor. "We're teaching them how to police the post."
David Hall (from left) is congratulated by Lt. Col. Jessie Goggins and Maj. Kendrick McCormick after Mr. Hall completed a post police academy course given to civilian officers at Fort Gordon.
Photo by Charmain Z. Brackett
Candidates go through an interview, a physical, an agility test and qualifying with a 9 mm handgun before they receive their training. All had some prior law enforcement experience. Many, including Wayne Fitch, are former military policemen.
"I'm retired military; I wanted to get back home," said Cpl. Fitch, who worked at the Trenton Correctional Institution in Trenton, S.C., prior to applying for the post police job.
Cpl. Dwight Viator said he's back in his element.
"I retired here from the military police in 1988," said Cpl. Viator, who is a former Richmond County Sheriff's Department deputy.
There are about 25 civilian police staff at Fort Gordon.
After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, other Army personnel, including members of the Signal Corps Band, augmented the military police by providing extra security at the gates and in key buildings such as Signal Towers.
The first group of civilians began working in August.
Another 15 to 18 police officers and five dispatchers will be hired, said Capt. Lawson.
Having civilian dispatchers will provide continuity, he said.
Reach Charmain Z. Brackett at (803) 441-6927 or email@example.com.
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