By Cass Rains, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Four officers joined the ranks of the Enid Police Department Thursday, after being sworn in by Judge Linda Pickens during a ceremony at city hall.
Chief Brian O’Rourke presented each of the four officers with their badges and insignias, while shaking hands and welcoming them to the force.
Michele James, Joshua Allison, Earl Smith III and Vladimir Iglesias each took an oath, promising to protect the law and citizens of Enid.
“I got to visit with them for the first time and it seems like they are ready to start their careers for the right reason,” O’Rourke said of the of new officers. “I told them what we expect of them — to be members of the community.
“It seems like a diverse and good group.”
James, a California native, said she was recruited to the department during a reception for her brother, Vance Air Force Base Wing Commander Col. Darren James.
“I was actually recruited during a reception for him,” she said.
James was a dispatcher for California Highway Patrol and lived in Sacramento before joining the EPD.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” she said. “To protect and serve and be a part of the community.”
James said she had aspirations to become a K-9 officer or work in the department’s Narcotics Unit. She also said she wants to advance through the ranks of the department.
James said she had other goals for being an officer.
“Being an officer and helping the people,” she said. “Being a leading example in the community. Keeping the city safe and secure.”
Allison comes to Enid from Mulhall, but is originally from Abilene, Texas.
Looking for a career in law enforcement, Allison said he saw Enid needed police officers in an ad on the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training website.
He spent three years with Oklahoma County as a jailer and saw this as an opportunity to advance his career.
“I wanted to take the next step in law enforcement,” Allison said. “I think I’d like to go into SWAT or the tactical team, maybe the DARE program. I like being in the community and have good communications skills.”
He said he wants to make the advancements in training and help the department wherever he can.
Iglesias, from Edmond, also saw the ad for officers on the CLEET website. With experience as a jailer, he too saw the job as a chance for a career. He sees himself working as a narcotics detective for the department.
“I believe it’s going to be the right place for me,” he said. “ I’m more of a fast-paced person. Plus, it gets drugs off the streets.”
One of the biggest challenges he thinks he’ll face as a new officer is learning the geography of the city.
Smith, from Fairmont, said being a police officer is something he’s always wanted to do.
“I was looking for a particular job in law enforcement,” he said. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and now is the time, I feel.”
Smith sees himself becoming a detective or a narcotics detective.
“The most challenging thing is learning all that I need as fast as I can,” he said. “The most rewarding would be knowing I learned it.”