MADISON, Ala. - Five Madison Police officers will go to work Tuesday with new titles.
The department promoted into management roles within the department, which recently came under the new leadership of Chief David Jernigan.
"We care about what goes on in our community. We have strong supervision. That's what I'm looking for. And I think this will help us moving forward," Jernigan said Monday.
Jernigan said these promotions, while rewarding officers for good work, will help balance out the patrol division.
He said the officers promoted Monday have his highest confidence. They went through multiple rounds of interviews from a board, to personal interviews with the new chief. The vetting process began in March.
Jernigan is thankful for the strength of these officers, as they step into higher roles.
"I had a conversation with them. I want them to be mentors, coaches, and teachers," said Jernigan. "We have a young department and I want to make sure the rookies, the new ones who are on the street, absolutely know what the law is and what they're allowed to do under the law. And with experienced supervisors in those positions, it helps to get that message across," he explained.
The chief was happy to lead the pinning ceremony. He said it was the first time this has happened before the Madison City Council. He wanted to do it publicly to give the officers and their families a moment to share their pride and commend them on a job well done.
"I wanted to make sure each person was the right fit for the job," he said, noting that he believes they each are.
The Madison Police Department also received some donations for bullet-resistant vests from Madison County Commissioners Dale Strong and Steve Haraway, along with state Senator Bill Holtzclaw.
Chief Jernigan explained this will allow the department to replace SWAT team vests that were past their expiration dates. He is thankful because he believes this will help protect the men and women when they are in harm's way.