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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

UAPD welcomes new officers and employees at swearing in ceremony

UAPD+welcomes+new+officers+and+employees+at+swearing+in+ceremony
Carmen Valencia

The University of Arizona Police Department welcomed two new officers and two new records department employees during a ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 1.

UAPD Police Chief Brian Seastone made the opening remarks and finished the ceremony by swearing in four new team members with an oath.

“Over the last several weeks, I’ve been thinking about starting a new tradition here,” Seastone said. “I think it’s really important for us to welcome the entire community that works with us and our family.”

Seastone said that formal welcome ceremonies in the past were traditionally only held for new officers once they graduate from the police academy or when an officer transfers from another department.

One of the new officers sworn in was Donald Warden, who previously worked in the security police for the U.S. Air Force before deciding to make the switch to a civilian law enforcement officer for the UA.

“When we interviewed him, the ideas that he had are exactly what we look for as far as community-oriented policing,” Seastone said.

Warden completed 24 weeks of training at the Pima County Sheriff’s Office, and three weeks of training with UAPD.

“I don’t want people to think that I think of them as just another number or person, but that I think of them as part of the Wildcat community,” Warden said. “So I’m going to care for each individual the way I would for a family member.”

Aaron Bradley, the other officer sworn in, completed 17 weeks of training at the Southern Arizona Law Enforcement Training Center and then three weeks of training with UAPD.

READ:UAPD to start Traffic Education and Enforcement Program to combat increased pedestrian and bicyclist injuries

Lori Flores, one of the new employees for the records department, worked for the City of Tucson for several years before taking this position. Sarah Elias, the other records employee sworn in, worked for five years as a UAPD police aide before joining the records department.

“I did work for this particular department for five years and there is a family cohesiveness in this department and everybody does work for the one goal — for the public,” Elias said.

Balancing the duties of a police officer while encouraging a healthy public opinion of the police is a task that officers today have to be more aware of.

“If I treat people like human beings and treat people how they want to be treated, it’s going to show that I actually care about them and I’m not like those few bad apples,” Warden said. “A lot of people think that the majority of cops are like that, but they’re not.”

Chief Seastone said that the support staff of UAPD is the true heartbeat of the department, which is why he wanted the new welcome ceremonies to be held for all new employees, not just new officers.

“I can’t express our gratitude for the unsung heroes of the department, who are our support staff on a daily basis that really don’t get the glory and the accolades they should,” Seastone said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing blue here, carrying a gun, wearing red as one of our CSOs or the tan of our police aides, everybody here is part of the family.”


Follow Jessica Suriano on Twitter.


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