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Hattiesburg welcomes 3 firefighters, 2 police officers

Updated: Jan. 6, 2021 at 5:46 PM CST
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The city of Hattiesburg welcomed five lateral transfers to its fire and police departments Wednesday morning.

Three firefighters and two police officers were sworn in during a ceremony.

Mayor Toby Barker says adding these men will help the city serve the citizens.

“To get our fire department up to 121 completely full, to start moving our police department continued progress toward full staffing at 120 – now at 106 – that’s a big step for us,” Barker said.

At the ceremony, Assistant Fire Chief Danny Wade pinned firefighter Zane Adams, Thomas Scoggin and Anthony Ratcliff Jr.

Acting Police Chief Peggy Sealy pinned officers Jarrod Dearman and Dustin McMullan, welcoming them to the department.

Dearman says a lot of work led him to this position.

“I went to school at PRCC, then did a year at WCU,” Dearman said. “Later on, I worked in security while going to college at Southern Miss. Majored in criminal justice, grew very interested in the subject.”

Ratcliff was very happy to join the fire department.

“I always, as a kid, I always wanted to be a fireman,” Ratcliff said. “To give something that you genuinely give from your heart to give someone a better outcome than the situation that you walked up on.”

Family attended the masked ceremony in downtown Hattiesburg, where Dearman and Ratcliff are excited to be serving.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to be working in the city that I began my law enforcement career in and I hope to continue to keep the public safe and to serve their needs anywhere possible I can,” Dearman said. “It’s truly a blessing to be working with my friends again.”

“I grew up here in Hattiesburg and to serve the community and partake in the youth programs that we offer here is a blessing in itself,” Ratcliff said.

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