The Montrose Police Department officially welcomed three new police officers to its ranks Monday, backfilling a number of vacant positions in the department.
Officers Kaytlyn Alvarez, Alandra-niane Baca and Aaron Sheedy were officially sworn in following their completion of law enforcement academy training.
Police Chief Blaine Hall, along with Commanders Tim Cox and Matt Smith, hosted a swearing-in ceremony for the officers in Centennial Plaza early Monday morning. A large gathering of city staff and administration joined members of the city council and officers from the Montrose Police Department to welcome the new recruits.
Friends and family of the officers were also invited to attend while adhering to social distancing guidelines.
With the new recruits standing beside him, Hall told the officers that 2020 has been a challenging year for law enforcement.
"We've seen extreme violence in our cities, defunding police initiatives, and mistrust in law enforcement across our nation is at an all-time high," Hall said.
"However, I want to start your careers in this city with positivism. This city and the citizens that live here support you, and that is exemplified in who you have here in attendance today."
Hall said the department "has a bright future to look forward to" with the construction of a new public safety complex to house the future Montrose Police Department offices along with the ongoing hiring of new police officers and civilian support staff to serve the community.
"We could not do any of it without the support of our citizens and the trust in our department," Hall said.
Hall told the officers that the city and its departments, from the city manager’s office to Public Works and City Hall, are part of one large team working each day to better the lives of Montrose residents.
Hall told the new officers to remember this first day of becoming a police officer and how proud their families are of them. Hall said the officers would undoubtedly encounter tough days and see things that most people would not or should not see.
Hall added that the officers are embarking on a career in a profession that is only meant for a few "because it is a calling."
He told the new officers that they will make mistakes, but not to sacrifice their morals or their integrity because what they do on the job is a reflection of the Montrose Police Department as a whole.
"Do not betray the trust of our citizens that have put their trust in you, because that trust is what makes it so great to serve as a police officer in our community," Hall said.
"We are not just the Montrose Police Department, the police department is part of the city, and our officers live within the community that we live in, and they are proud to live in this community to keep it safe."
Following the ceremony, the officers were dismissed to begin additional training within police department headquarters.