The Turlock Police Department welcomed their newest police officer on Tuesday in a ceremony attended by friends, family, and fellow members of the department.
Officer Hiram Duncan was sworn in as a new officer at the Turlock Police Department, filling another vacancy in the already short-staffed police force.
“This is a special day,” said Turlock Police Chief Rob Jackson.
Duncan comes to Turlock after working further south at the Fresno Police Department and the Kings County Human Services, experiences Jackson said Duncan will utilize in his position at TPD.
Excited for his new role at the department, Duncan acknowledged the family and friends that gathered at his swearing in.
“Thank you for joining me today for this unique and awesome privilege,” said Duncan to his supporters.
Duncan joins Officer Jose Iniguez, who was sworn in on June 16, as the newest officers for the Police Department, which lost five officers to other agencies in approximately a year.
“We’re happy that there’s a new addition to the Turlock Police Department,” said Sgt. Russell Holeman, President of the Turlock Associated Police Officers. “We’re severely understaffed and underfunded, so any chance that we get to bring a new body on is a benefit to the Police Department and the citizens of Turlock.”
Along with Duncan, Jackson introduced three police officer trainee hires that will be put through the academy by the City of Turlock. On April 8, the Turlock City Council approved the Turlock Police Department to hire police officer trainees to be sent through the academy and fill vacant officer positions.
Alfred Velasquez, Emanuel Moles, and Adam Neep will be attending the police academy in hopes of becoming Turlock police officers. However, unlike the lateral officers hired — Duncan and Iniguez — it may be up to a year before the trainees are hitting the streets, according to Jackson.
“With the three new hires for the trainee position that we’re putting through the academy, we’re happy to see that happen,” said Holeman. “It’s unfortunate that there’s going to be about a nine month delay before they’re actually on the streets and ready to take calls by themselves, when there’s thousands of qualified candidates out there, that have already gone through the academy, but they’re not in the least bit interested in applying for the City of Turlock.”
With the expectation of the trainees completing the academy and joining the Turlock Police Department, there remains only one vacant officer position. Jackson says they are looking to fill that with either another lateral police officer or a trainee.
“We’re looking forward to filling all of our vacant spots,” said Jackson.
The trainee process is complete, but those who have already gone through the academy can apply here.
(Left to right) Alfred Velasquez, Adam Neep, and Emanuel Moles are introduced as police officer trainee hires.