Seventeen new faces were officially added to Lexington’s police force Friday morning.
The process for these recruits began last November. Now, nine months later, they’re donning the uniform of Lexington police officers. Though technically sworn in several months ago so they could gain some early experience handling the Boy’s Sweet Sixteen tournament, Friday marked their official graduation.
Newly-minted officer Keisha Compton came away with the Chief Ronnie Bastin Exemplary Achievement Award.
"The first two weeks were very, very rough," she recalls. "It was a culture shock to me, something I'd never been a part of, didn't really know what to expect. But after that, I had great classmates and we all came together as a group and pulled it out."
Still, Compton’s class is coming online just as Lexington deals with a spike in violent crime.
"We're putting a full court press on that and using all available resources to bring these investigations to a successful resolution. And these folks are going to play a big part in helping to improve the quality of life in Lexington throughout their careers," says Chief Bastin.
By the end of the next fiscal year, Bastin says the department will have added an additional 15 officers to their ranks, bringing the totalforth strength to 570.