HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Hattiesburg Police Department welcomed two new officers into its ranks Monday morning.
Lateral transfers Officer Dustin McMullan and Officer James Harrington were sworn into the department by Mayor Toby Barker, followed by a pinning of the badge by Police Chief Anthony Parker.
McMullan comes from Port Allen, LA. He says he's been an officer since 2002.
McMullan said he got his start in law enforcement at the Hattiesburg Police Department, where he attended the Training Academy. He said it's been his goal to get back to the Hub City for years, and it feels good to serve in an area he can call home.
"I want [residents] to know that I'm a community-oriented police officer," said McMullan. "I'm open to anything that you want to ask me, tell me or suggestions. If you got any problems, I'm happy to take care of it."
Harrington transfers from the LaFayette Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana. He said he’s ready to give the agency all of his background, training and experience.
Harrington said while the Hub City may be different than what he's used to working in Louisiana, he's ready to meet and serve those in the community.
"I'm going to be a very community-oriented police officer," said Harrington. "I think that's some of my background and culture coming from Louisiana. I like being out there, shaking hands type officer, not just sitting in the car for 12 hours with the sunglasses on."
The new hires put HPD at 105 officers. The goal is to reach 107 by the end of the year.