Suffolk squad adds nine

Published 10:12 pm Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Rachelann Cardwell did not need to look far when she was looking for career options: She went straight to her family.

“I was looking for a profession,” Cardwell said. She had spent two years working in the state penitentiary and wanted to expand her work. “I wanted to be able to touch people in a positive way.”

Cardwell’s uncle was a retired police lieutenant in Florida, and served as the catalyst for Cardwell’s decision.

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“I have a wonderful support system,” Cardwell said. “He was a great inspiration. (Becoming a police officer) just came naturally.”

Cardwell joined eight of her comrades as the newest additions to the Suffolk Police Department Tuesday morning after the city held a badge pinning ceremony for the new officers.

For new Officer Harron Huie, Tuesday’s events were like a dream come true.

“As a child, you grow up wanting to be a firefighter, an astronaut,” Huie said. “Today we’re having one of those childhood-fulfilling celebrations.”

Huie spent 21years in the Navy and said his desire to be a public servant never went away once he left the military.

“I like the service of others, so why not go and start something helping the community,” Huie said. “It was an easy job choice for me.”

Huie and Cardwell joined Josie Crotts, Joshua Davis, Josie Flores, Lydia Harry, Nicole Heyward, Steven Ireland and Nicolas Walker for the ceremony held in the city council chambers.

Newly instated Police Chief Thomas Bennett spoke to the officers during the ceremony and quoted his remarks from his own installation just one month ago.

“This may sound familiar to some of you,” Bennett said, “but I don’t think you all have heard this.”

Bennett told the new officers that he would do everything he could to make sure they had all of the training, equipment and support necessary to do their jobs correctly. Bennett told the offices he believed in them and believed in their ability to make a difference in people’s lives. But he said that as police officers they are given extraordinary power, and subsequently, responsibility to be just.

“Don’t ever forget that responsibility,” Bennett said.

Sgt. Paul Burch also spoke to the new officers during the ceremony. Burch told the officers when they began their training he told them the importance of honesty and integrity. He said those are just as important as they embark on their careers.

“If you lose (your integrity), your career as a police officer is over,” Burch said. “I trust all of you. I’m proud of you. I look forward to working with each of you.”