SEMINARY, MS (WDAM) - The Seminary Police Department will be sporting new badges as they work to keep the community safe.
"What makes these badges a little more unique than our others is they all have In God We Trust inscribed on them," Seminary Police Chief Michael Kelly said.
The department has one full-time employee, which is Chief Kelly, and 14 part-time officers that work different shifts to patrol the city day and night.
"Families in the community got the chance to sponsor an officer and pay the money for his new badge," Kelly said.
The cost for a badge is just over $100, but Kelly said the relationship that officer will share with his or her sponsor family is priceless.
"They will exchange Christmas cards, birthday cards, keep in touch and it just lets that officer know, there is at least one special family in the community that cares about him," Kelly said. "Our governor thought it was important enough to put it on our state seal, our very country was founded upon the premise of religious freedom and trust and faith in the Almighty."
The officers were all presented their badges by their sponsor families and all shared a word or prayer during the National Night Out Against Crime event in Seminary.
"I thought it was appropriate that the one thing that sets us apart from a civilian, it's a symbol of our oath, that we swore, we put our hand on the bible by the way to swear that oath and is to put in God we trust on our shield," Kelly said.
Officers were met with hugs, cheers and hugs from members of the community at the end of the ceremony.
"I think it is a good cause for our community and we appreciate all of their hard work and their protection over us," said Sherry Turnage, a Seminary office sponsor. "I was very honored to do that and very glad to be from a community that honors God."
The night was about fun, fellowship and a safe environment for everyone in the community to enjoy, and the officers were certainly the spotlight.
"To have that kind of moral support behind you with a person that has the same kind of beliefs you do and faith in that, it really means a whole lot for his officers to want to have that inscribed on their badge as well as having the support from the community that also believes that same faith," Seminary Police Officer Ross Kinsey said.
"I couldn't be more proud to lead a department like this, you can travel around to a lot of places, even in Mississippi and you will not find many other communities like Seminary," Kelly said.