Four recent police academy graduates were sworn in Tuesday morning as Brownwood’s newest police officers.
Brownwood Municipal Don Clements administered the oaths to Ben Huff, Jason Snedegar, Anna Sturgeon and Brandon Johnson.
The four drew salaries of $2,300 a month as they went through the eight-month academy, which began Jan. 28. Brownwood City Council members earlier approved a plan to pay the then-recruits to fill existing vacancies on the Brownwood Police Department.
In exchange for having drawn salaries and having the tuition paid by the city, the four are obligated to work for the Brownwood department for two years.
The city hadn’t previously paid recruits in the police academy, but police and city officials believe doing so will attract more applicants.
Police officials had said they were having trouble filling the four vacancies, with few applicants signing up to take written civil service tests.
A total of 10 recruits attended the regional academy, held at the Law Enforcement Center, and all 10 graduated and passed state certification tests, Brownwood Police Chief Virgil Cowin said.
“It’s a good group. We have a lot of good feelings about this group of officers,” Cowin said.
The addition of the four officers puts the department at full strength, although two are currently unavailable for work - one due to injury and another due to military deployment, Cowin said.