HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Hattiesburg Police Department is gaining 10 new officers.
Family and friends looked on as nine of them were sworn in by Mayor Johnny DuPree at a special ceremony Thursday at City Hall.
"Whether it's fire service or police service, they do a wonderful job for us and they protect us," said DuPree.
One of them, Sabrina Ferguson, said she wanted to join the force for one main reason, her family.
"It's a great opportunity for my kids and just for me."
Ferguson said she's aware of some of the negative stereotypes that work against female cops, but she's not afraid to take the heat.
"A lot of women do men jobs an I feel like the doors are open for women to be police officers," she said.
All of the officers have been trained at different police academies. Ferguson graduated from Camp Shelby's Southern Region Public Safety Institute last year.
"They teach us the fundamentals of working with the community," she said.
Lt. Jon Traxler said getting new officers outside of their academy is a cost effective method.
"We save money not having to put them through an academy," said Traxler. "It saves time also on getting them out into the streets."
DuPree said the fact that these officers all have trained else where and want to work here is a good indicator of growth.
"We have them all the way from Bogue Chitto, Jackson, Miss., to Colorado who come here and want to be a part of our police department," he said. "It's says a lot about our city."
The last officer who was not able to attend the ceremony will be sworn in on Monday separately by the mayor.