LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — On Friday, 25 men and women from around the state and country walked across the stage at Lexington City Church and became Lexington police officers.
For one new officer, Brandon Nichols, he says this was his moment to continue his family's legacy of service in this city. He says, "Seeing my mom go, and my step-dad go to work every day and you know make a positive impact on people in the community, it just inspired me. I wish I would have done it sooner, but I’m glad I did it when I did."
In his remarks to the graduates, Chief Lawrence Weathers mentioned that over the past couple of years, it's been difficult to get people into this profession that have the passion and commitment—but he says that he believes that this graduating class has what it takes to make a difference here in Lexington.
In his remarks he said, “It may not be saving the whole world, but it's saving their world and that's one bite at a time brother. One bite at a time."
Over the past year, Chief Weathers has been vocal about the police departments staffing shortages—an issue that's come up around the country. Mayor Linda Gorton said public safety is a priority in Lexington. She noted that more than half of the city's budget goes to public safety.
Officer Brandon Nichols says after the academy he feels prepared.
"Being around this department it, you know it means a lot to stick around, because you know people want to be police officers, but they don't want to go through the academy, a long academy process but they prepare you well for the streets and I look forward to it,” says Officer Nichols.
For Officer Nichols this is a full circle moment that he says he's more than ready for. He explains, "I wanted to become a police officer because I wanted to... I'm born and raised here in Lexington, Kentucky. I wanted to be an impact in my community, be a leader. Not only help get people off the streets but help those in need as well."
Chief Weathers charged these officers to serve justice in the community with honesty and integrity.