Merced added three new officers, including two with law enforcement experience, during a ceremony on Friday at City Hall.
Officers Levi Crain, Israel Garcia and Chase Wilson took an oath from Chief Norm Andrade in front of friends and family gathered in the council chambers.
The department now has 91 officers with a budget for three more, according to Andrade.
Crain, 23, of Merced comes to the department after more than two years with Atwater Police Department.
Andrade said the department sometimes attracts officers with experience. “Not as many as we would like coming with experience,” he said. “Oftentimes they have skills that take years to acquire.”
Merced’s largest police force was in 2007, when it had 111 officers.
91The number of police officers in Merced
Crain, who was also part of the Special Weapons and Tactics team in Atwater, has been honored for his work in recovering stolen vehicles.
Garcia, 32, of Fresno graduated from the Fresno Police Academy as a Merced police officer trainee, according to city staffers. He formerly worked as a corrections officer for the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, he said.
Wilson, 30, of Merced was a reserve officer with the Merced Police Department since 2011, he said. In the U.S. Marine Corps, he rose to the rank of sergeant, according to city staffers.
The new officers will enter several months of additional training before going on patrol solo. They will make $59,029.57 a year, according to city staffers.