The Cullman City Police Department has expanded its patrol division with three freshly trained Police Academy graduates.
The three new officers were all part-time reserve officers with the police department prior to their graduation for academy. According to Cullman Police Chief Kenny Culpepper, the addition of the new officers brings the total number of patrol officers within the department to 30, a good number for a city of Cullman’s size.
“It is hard to pinpoint what the ideal number of officers within the department would be,” said Culpepper. “Sometimes things are quiet and you seem to have too many and other times you need ten times the officers you have, it is a constant balancing act.”
Officers Matt Scholsser, Intae Suh, and Clint Sanford completed their 12-week training at the Northeast Alabama Law Enforcement Academy (LEA) on the satellite campus of Jacksonville State University located in Fort McClellan. The three officers have begun working full time with the city police department this weekend, according to Culpepper.
Schlosser said that his interest in law enforcement has been lifelong but he didn’t pursue it until completing a degree program for a much different field.
“I got a degree in accounting,” he said. “But I don’t think that is for me, I don’t want to sit in a cubicle and work.”
The 24 year old has been working as a reserve officer with the department since January of 2009 and is eager to get out and patrol on his own.
“I’m excited to start working and learning new things,” said Schlosser. “It’s a job where every day is a little different from the last and I like that.”
For Clint Sanford a career in law enforcement is nearly a family tradition.
“I have a lot of family members involved with law enforcement,” he said. “And growing up, I always thought that that’s what I wanted to do with my life.”
The 22 year old completed an associates degree in criminal justice prior to attending the academy and spent time as a reserve officer.
His colleague, 23-year-old Intae Suh, also completed a degree in the law enforcement field — a bachelor’s degree in criminology.
“I’ve always been interested in law enforcement,” said Suh. “I’m excited that I am in the position now to serve the community that I grew up in.”
According to Culpepper, law enforcement agencies in the are hiring more officers now than in the time immediately following the economic slowdown.
“Nationally, law enforcement agencies were forced to make a lot of cuts due to lacking funding over the past few years,” he said. “But as we see the economy come back I think a lot of cities like Cullman will fill many of those positions back.”
* Sam Rolley can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com or by telephone at 734-2131 ext. 225.