Atmore Police Department’s rank and file welcomed two rookie patrol officers after the December 7 graduation ceremony at the Alabama Criminal Justice Training Center’s police academy.
The new officers — Guytel Martin and Logan Weber — have strong ties to the community, making their APD employment an even better fit.
Martin, who worked 10 years with Pepsi Cola Bottling of Atmore before deciding to try his hand at policing, was born in Atmore and has lived here all his life. He and his wife Lakishia have two children, Jacquez Judd, 8, and Bri-Ella Martin, 9 months.
“So far it’s been easier than I thought it would,” he said. “Being from here, I know or know of most of the people I come into contact with and I’m learning their street names.”
Weber and his family moved here from Pennsylvania in 2009. He and his wife Madalyn have two dogs, Austin and Baxter, and his father is associate pastor of Grace Fellowship Church.
“It’s a little bit easier, knowing most of the streets,” he said. “I didn’t grow up with a lot of people around here, but it’s easier (to be a policeman) living in the area and knowing the community.”
Police Chief Chuck Brooks agreed that both officers’ familiarity with the community and its residents would be an asset for everyone involved.
“It’s a big plus,” Brooks said of the duo’s local ties. “I’m very happy they’re both on staff. I feel like they will be tremendous assets to the department and the citizens of Atmore.”
All candidates for certification as a police officer must complete within their first six months of employment a 13-week course that covers all aspects of law enforcement, from criminal law to traffic law, patrol procedures, defensive driving, use of force and more.
“They have six months from the time they’re hired until they walk across that stage and get their certificates,” said the police chief. “They stay on-site until they graduate.”
The course also includes an intensive, three-phase physical training regimen. First, cadets must complete a series of tests of agility and strength. They must then do 22 push-ups and 25 sit-ups, and each must be done within 60 seconds. They must then complete a 1.5-mile run with a time of 15:28 or less.
“If they fail any part of the physical fitness part, they have to start all over again,” Brooks noted. “If that happens, they have 72 hours to get up to a passing grade.”
Brooks pointed out that the lead instructor at the academy, which is on the campus of Wallace Community College in Selma, provided glowing reports on Martin and Weber.
“Lt. Taylor at the academy told me they both did very well,” he said. “They exceeded the standards in all areas, according to all the progress reports he submitted to me.”
The city pays for the certification training for all new officers. In exchange, each officer signs a contract promising to work with the department for two years from his or her graduation date.
Pictured at top, Police Chief Chuck Brooks congratulates Guytel Martin, at left, and Logan Weber.