The Los Banos Police Department welcomed its 35th and 36th officers Monday during a swearing-in ceremony at City Hall.
Kristifer Hew, 29, and David Darren Cole II, 25, were greeted by family, city officials and their new coworkers as they took the oath of office.
"It's just a great day," Police Chief Gary Brizzee said. "We have our bad days when crime spikes or something terribly tragic happens. This is the opposite end of that spectrum where we actually get to do something good."
Briz-zee gave biographies on each of the new officers.
Hew is is a Los Banos native who is a former high school history teacher. He is a 2001 graduate of Los Banos High School and has a bachelor's degree and a teaching credential from California State University, Fresno.
Hew graduated from the Fresno City College Police Academy in 2011.
The ceremony was symbolic for Hew. He has been patrolling the streets of Los Banos as a sworn police officer since March.
"He hit the ground running," Brizzee said. "After graduating the academy, Kris went to Reedley P.D. I can tell for sure that patrol experience benefitted Kris."
Brizzee raved about Hew writing a search warrant, pursuing suspects and conducting an investigation in which he found someone through the fingerprint database.
Hew said he wanted to be in law enforcement his entire life.
"I tried to do something a little bit safer, tried being a teacher. I really didn't like that, so I decided to change career paths. Los Banos is definitely different than when I was a little kid, but it definitely feels good to go out there and try to help people."
Cole was born in Madera and raised in Dos Palos.
He graduated from Dos Palos High School in 2005 and earned an associate of arts degree from Merced Junior College in 2009.
Cole,who formerly worked in the meat department at Save Mart, graduated from the San Joaquin Delta College Police Academy in September.
Brizzee praised Cole for putting himself through the 10-month extended police academy while working a full-time job at the grocery store.
"That's Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights plus the weekends (at the academy), plus working at Save Mart full time, plus he's trying to maintain a family life, which has got to be tough," Brizzee said. "That's a tremendous effort."
Cole, like Hew, said he has always aspired to be in the police department.
"I only intended to work my way through college," Cole said of his grocery store position. "It took a little bit of extra time than I anticipated, but law enforcement is what I always wanted to do."