Four graduates of the Lamar Institute of Technology Regional Police Academy became Beaumont Police Officers Friday. Their swearing-in ceremony comes as police departments across the country report a shortage of new recruits.
The new officers come from across southeast Texas.
- Christopher Raymer, 32, a resident of Orange, TX. He is a recent graduate from the L.I.T. Regional Police Academy. Christopher also attended college at Louisiana Tech and Lamar University.
- Robert Parsley, 23, a resident of Port Arthur, TX. He is a recent graduate of the L.I.T. Regional Police Academy. Robert also earned a Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice from Sam Houston State University.
- Ryan Whitehead, 24, a resident of Silsbee, TX. He is a recent graduate from the L.I.T. Regional Police Academy. Ryan is also a graduate from Lamar University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice.
- Chandler Hudspeth, 21, a resident of Beaumont, TX. Chandler is a recent graduate from the L.I.T. Regional Police Academy. Chandler recently served as a Correctional Officer with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.
Beaumont’s success in attracting and keeping officers reflects the NBC report. Chris Catalina, Personnel Director of the City of Beaumont, told 12News a rookie officer in Beaumont starts at $57,024 per year. Officers with experience can receive sign-on bonuses. The latest listing for an experienced officer in Beaumont offered a $2,000 per year of service sign-on bonus. Senior officers (below Sgt.) make as high as $79,092.
Catalina said there are no officer positions posted at this time, but he expects positions to be posted by fall.