A group of new Lexington police officers will hit the streets Monday after months of training in the classroom, gym and firing range, punctuated by a graduation ceremony at The Kentucky Theatre on Friday afternoon.
It was a proud moment for the 23 men and women who took the stage, the first class of recruits to be sworn in since April 2010.
The class of 18 men and five women was hired using a $3.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. Such grants were awarded to police departments across the country that demonstrated a dedication to "community policing," a philosophy of partnership between police and the people and organizations they serve.
Friday's graduating class was notable for having several second- and third-generation police officers, police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said.
It is the first time in memory that a mother and daughter have served on the Lexington police department at the same time, she said. During Friday's ceremony, recruit Stephanie McClain beamed with pride as her mother, officer Bella Wells, pinned on her badge.
The graduates bring the number of police officers to about 520.
Speakers at Friday's ceremony included police Chief Ronnie Bastin, Mayor Jim Gray and former chief Anthany Beatty, now vice president for campus services at the University of Kentucky.
The officers will begin working under the supervision of field training officers Monday, Roberts said. It will be 15 weeks before they are ready to patrol the streets on their own.
Police are taking applications for two more recruit classes expected to begin in the next few months.
Josh Kegley: (859) 231-3197. Twitter: @HLPublicSafety.