New officers

The five newly sworn officers for Greenwood’s Police Department celebrate outside the chambers of City Hall. From left are Nastacia Rice, Brittany Reed, Charshayla Morgan, Deauntae Whitehead and Denzil Bigbee.

Five patrol officers, as well as the police chief, were sworn in to the Greenwood Police Department during a ceremony Tuesday at City Hall.

The five patrol officers — three women and two men — were greeted by Mayor Carolyn McAdams and some members of the City Council and also got to meet their boss, Chief Jody Bradley, who has led the department since December.

Jody Bradley

Greenwood Mayor Carolyn McAdams, left, swears in Police Chief Jody Bradley on Tuesday at City Hall.

“I appreciate what you’re doing for the security and safety of Greenwood,” McAdams said.

She also told the officers that their role includes helping citizens as well as making arrests.  The mayor then swore Bradley in.

“You are part of the new department. You are part of a new adventure,” Bradley told the five patrol officers — Denzil Bigbee, Charshayla Morgan, Brittany Reed, Nastacia Rice and Deauntae Whitehead — before swearing them in.

On Monday, the new officers will begin to work while accompanied by a field training officer, said Lt. Terrance Craft, the department’s training officer.

Charles McCoy

City Councilman Charles McCoy hands $2 bills to the five new police officers as a good luck charm.

Bradley said that the new officers may be some of the first in the department to “pound the pavement” by going on foot patrols, a new initiative the chief has in the works to strengthen the department’s rapport with the community.

“I’m excited to be on the force,” said Whitehead, a resident of Greenwood.

Overall, the department has 55 sworn officers, ranging from patrol officers to captains, Bradley said.

Applicants have to pass a variety of tests, such as a drug test and physical test, as well as a background check and psychological evaluation before they’re hired, Craft said. Under Mississippi law, any newly hired law enforcement officer is required within one year to be certified by successfully completing a 12-week program offered at one of the state’s law enforcement training academies.

The newly sworn-in officers, along with Bradley, will begin their training at a police academy in May.  Until their certification, the new officers will always be accompanied by a field training officer while on patrol.

Contact Gerard Edic at 581-7239 or gedic@gwcommonwealth.com.

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