PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - The Pascagoula Police Department added four new officers to their team. Friday, Officers Angelica Nunez, Tony Vail, Brittaney Langley, and Cody Crager will begin their new journeys to protect their communities as Pascagoula police officers.
Officer Crager has a family history with law enforcement.
"My father served in the Jackson County Sheriff's Department. I always grew up with him coming home, playing with his blue lights and sirens in his police car. It's just something I've always wanted to do," the new officer said.
Now that he's completing his field training, Crager says he feels like he's part of an even bigger family.
"Basically, it's a brotherhood. We're all brothers here. We have each other's backs."
But, the road to this brotherhood wasn't easy. Crager had to complete rigorous tests, both physical and written. But this is the first time that the process has changed a little for this particular class according to Captain Doug Adams. He says training usually starts after the recruit is hired, but it started earlier this time around.
"We took them to the range. We put them with their FTO's [Field Training Officers], and they rode for about six weeks," said the Adams. "In the last month we did nothing but train for the Academy and they started the Academy in January."
It's an eleven-week program, and these new officers were much more prepared because of the training they had already completed. Crager's Field Training Officer says it was a much better way to learn and gain experience.
Officer Tri Nguyen said, "It gives you a basis, a foundation to build upon. It's not everything you need to know. Where you learn a majority of how you do your job is on the streets, when they ride with us, with the FTO, that has the knowledge and experience, that can teach them how to handle a situation."
Because when they are patrolling the streets on their own, they need to be prepared for whatever might come their way. The four new officers will likely begin patrols by May.