Continuing what Mayor Tommy Parker hopes will become a new tradition, the city’s three newest firefighters were sworn in during this week’s city council meeting.
Joined by their interim Fire Chief Randy Gibson, new fire fighters Nicholas Arrington, Jerome Bostick and Donald Locklear, Jr. were individually sworn in by Parker.
Affirming their commitment to defend the city against all enemies, both foreign and domestic to the best of their skills and abilities, the three three new firemen were welcomed by applause to their new posts.
“Their desire to serve and to apply their abilities … make us glad to have them in the fire department,” Gibson said following the administration of oaths by Parker.
Upon the recommendation of interim chief of police Kimothy Monroe, city council decided to begin publicly swearing in new police officers and firefighters during their meetings starting this year.
At the time Parker praised the idea, saying that he hopes that it will continue in the future.
Arrington, Bostick and Locklear, Jr. are the first firefighters to be sworn in following the shift in policy. Two new police officers were sworn in during the city council’s January meeting.
“I recommended the change because those guys put in a lot of hard work training and have dedicated hours to attaining their certification. They should have a lot of pride in that and in the work they will be doing itself and that deserves recognition,” Monroe said.
According to Parker, the city used to publicly swear in its firefighters and police officers. He said that he does not recall when or why the practice was stopped.
“(Firefighters) put themselves in harm’s way on a daily basis and want we to let them know that their mayor and the city council appreciates what they do,” Parker said.
Gibson and Monroe assumed their interim roles following the retirement of Police Chief John Evans in December of last year. Evans was serving as interim fire chief at the time of his departure.