CLARKSVILLE, IN (WAVE) - Thanks to a $250,000 grant, the Clarksville Police Department has hired three new officers, including the first African American to serve on the force.
Judge James Guilfoyle swore in Demetrius Latham, John Smith and Chris Bartley. Officer Latham, 23, is the first African American to stand before the Clarksville Town Council and swear to protect and serve while wearing a police badge.
As a Central High School graduate, Latham said he's eager to serve a community near his hometown. In his late teens, he moved to Clarksville while attending University of Louisville. A former professor was in attendance Monday night, to support Latham and his success.
"He impressed me the moment he walked into my classroom," Criminal Justice Professor Cherie Dawson-Edwards said. "He asked a lot of questions and was also able to connect the dots with his job experience."
Latham said this is a very big step for his city and he's humbled to represent his community.
In addition to Latham, Clarksville Police Chief Mark Palmer also assisted in the ceremony to swear in Officer John Smith and Officer Chris Bartley.