Mobile Police Academy Class 68 graduates 18 new officers

Published: Apr. 8, 2022 at 10:24 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - At attention and in full uniform -- 18 new officers join Mobile’s finest and all that comes with it.

“That our mayor and this administration stands firmly behind you as you carry out your duties and responsibilities day in and day out,” said Lawrence Battiste, Mobile Public Safety Director.

After 21 weeks of training -- Mobile Police Academy Class 68 -- is ready to make a difference.

“Often I hear from people in the community -- that say -- I wouldn’t be a cop today -- no way I would be a police officer in today’s climate. But in my 28-year career -- I can think of no better time than today,” said Chief Paul Prine, Mobile Police.

Taking the oath office -- a promise to protect and serve -- they go from civilian to officer.

“My reason is I want to do something with a purpose. I want to give back to the community and want to have a job and a career where my kids look up to it. I have two young kids and this means a lot to me to be here today,” said Officer Matthew Cooper.

“Treat everyone with the same respect you would want or I would want someone to treat my family. So answer every call with that same energy -- with that same anticipation -- you know they may be having a bad day, but you may be brightening up that day,” said Officer Aaron Holder.

Nearly breaking a homicide record last year and continued gun violence -- the Port City certainly has its challenges in fighting crime. Chief Prine believes they’re making headway.

“Certainly more officers on the street does nothing but to help curtail the violence that you are seeing down here today... And we are hoping to release some numbers real soon that shows we are trending down,” said Chief Prine.

The new officers now move on to three months of field training in different precincts before they’re assigned they’re patrol cars and final precinct.

The Mobile Police Department is budgeted for 491 officers. Chief Prine says they continue to try and fill vacancies.

The following awards were also handed out at the graduation ceremony:

Class President Kasidy Higgins received the highest test score and also the Chief’s Award for Best Overall Performance.

Physical Fitness Award (highest score on the physical training) -- Officer Aaron Holder.

Firearms Award -- Officer Darius Moore.