HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Hattiesburg Police Department added a few more to its ranks with the graduation of the 33rd Recruit Class Friday.
The 17-week class, where cadets ran more than a 100 miles, did more than 27,000 push-ups and started with 16, ended with nine.
"It's been a journey, but it's also a privilege, just to know how hard we worked every day," said Kathryn Mailly, a graduating officer.
Mailly addressed the room at the Hattiesburg Police and Fire Academy filled with friends, family and loved ones of fellow classmates.
"Think about how far we have come, both individually and as a class, when we showed up to this very room 17 weeks ago, we were a bunch of individuals, some of us were prepared for the endeavors ahead of us," Mailly said. "As the weeks went by, we began to come together as one."
Mailly was also honored with three awards for academics, leadership and physical training. Nicholas Purvis was awarded top handgun shooter and top shotgun shooter.
"This is just an excellent class; I mean you can just see by the numbers that they did with all the things they had to go through in order to get to this point," Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree said.
With the addition of nine to the department, it brings the total number of officers to 104. The department is slotted for 125, according to Lt. Jon Traxler.
"It just gives more to help us do our job to support our community and be able to protect them as well," Traxler said.
Mailly, who is from Brandon, has traveled to multiple states and has a passion for helping others.
"I've always wanted to give back to my community and I've been in a job capacity before where I've worked with inner city youth population, and in that capacity I couldn't really act or do anything that I felt needed to be done in order to help them.," Mailly said. "So I chose to go in on it at the city level where I felt I could have the most impact."
The officers will be paired with field training officers to complete training, but they are all looking forward to hitting the streets.
"I'm ready to just getting out with the community, ah learning them and making a difference and having a positive impact on it," Mailly said.
HPD 33rd Recruit Class:
- Dustin Chandler
- David Courtney
- Roderick Harris
- Na’Aman Holmes
- Alexander Kitch
- Kathryn Mailly
- Nicholas Purvis
- Joshua Truss
- David Wynn II