On Thursday, the Hammond Police Department proudly displayed a new community engagement wall during the swearing-in of six new "Academy Bound" graduates, along with a recognition awards ceremony. The new wall, built just yesterday, is a way to reflect the hard work of the Department as a whole, while showcasing some outstanding officers who have received special recognition.
“A lot of departments in the military give awards that can be worn on uniforms, but we wanted to create something that showcased the great things our officers are doing that will be permanently on display here. This legacy board will carry on forever. It is something they can show to their kids or even grand kids one day,” said John D Doughty, Hammond Chief of Police.
After the unveiling of the wall, six new officers were sworn in: Ofc. Tyler Crussen, Ofc. Jesse Escamilla, Ofc. Taylor Hensley, Ofc. Xavier Reillo, Ofc. Daniel Villagomez, and Ofc. Raymond Velez.
The new officers were previously part of a popular program created by Chief Doughty. The program came about when Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr.’s award winning “College Bound” program crossed paths with the vision of Chief Doughty.
It was the next logical next step for us." said Chief Doughty. "College Bound sends interested Hammond kids to college and I thought, why can't we create a program to send young Hammond residents that are interested in law enforcement to the police academy?"
Hammond residents between the ages of 21-28 can apply for the program if certain requirements are met. If selected, they will then be sent to the police academy free of charge. From there, if they successfully graduate from the academy, the cadets will be offered a job as a new police officer.
We feel that hiring officers who were born and raised in Hammond will add so much back to the communities they will serve,” said Lt. Steven Kellogg of Hammond Police Department.
Swiftly after the new officers were sworn in, an inaugural recognition awards ceremony took place. This ceremony recognized recent accomplishments by Hammond police officers such as heroic acts, distinguished services, and life-saving events.
Each recognized officer was given a plaque to be shared on the new community engagement wall.
“Our hope is that people will recognize an officer who helped them out one time, and notice that according to the plaque, they also saved someone's life,” said Lt. Kellogg.
Above the head shots of Hammond police officers hangs a new "word-bubble" design reflecting the everyday mission and vision of the men and women of the Hammond Police Department. Some words included community, dignity, and respect. They were chosen because they represent the qualities and values a police officer needs to be an outstanding officer.
“Those qualities are exactly what this department of men and women have. 211 of them to be exact,” said Lt. Kellogg.
For more information about the positive news in Hammond, visit http://www.gohammond.com/.