In a swearing-in ceremony at the Woonsocket Police Department Friday afternoon, Chief Thomas Carey and Mayor Leo Fontaine welcomed two new officers to the force.
Officer Kaitlin Deslatte is a Louisiana-born graduate of Northwestern State University. She received her Masters Degree in Historical Archaeology from UMass Boston and has experience at disaster scenes including the World Trade Center and the Station Night Club fire.
Visitors may have seen Deslatte at the front desk of the police station over the the past year and a half. Although she has long completed the academic portion of her training, Deslatte was injured in a previous academy and has only recently finished her physical training. She will be the 5th female out of 87 officers currently serving in the department.
Officer Christopher Bouvier has an Associate's Degree in Law Enforcement from the Community College of Rhode Island. Carey described 21-year-old Bouvier as "very mature for his age."
"His big selling point was his oral interview," said Carey of the recruit. "When the three captains and I sat down to talk, we were all very impressed with him."
Pastor Herson Gonzalez of delivered the invocation and benediction during the short Friday afternoon ceremony and the pair had badges pinned upon their uniforms.
Fontaine swears in all new officers as part of his duties as Woonsocket's Public Safety Director.
"I enjoy this because I'm really humbled and honored to take part in these ceremonies. I have such great respect for the men and women of our department," Fontaine said. "They are on the front line and not a night goes by that I don't keep them in my prayers and my thoughts."
Carey gave each of the officers a "challenge coin" with their badge numbers, #74 for Deslatte and #95 for Bouvier, engraved on the back. The coins were made up recently with some grant money received by the department and have the words "Teamwork," "Accountability," and "Commitment," written on them along with the questions: Am I doing the right thing? Is it the right time? Am I making the decision for the right reason? Am I making it in the right way?
"I hope the officers will carry them with them at all times," Carey said. "Think about those questions when you go out and make those decisions."