Taking an oath, to protect and to serve. Laurel's police department welcomed two new officers to the staff Friday morning, both Bryce Gilbert and Michelle Howell.
Howell comes to the force with eight years of law enforcement experience, previously working for the Jones County Sheriff's Department.
"Going from the sheriffs' department to the Laurel Police Department is going to be a little bit of a change for me, but I think it is going to be a good change," Howell said. "The city is basically the same. Fortunate enough to stay here in Jones County which is something I wanted to do... I'm so excited! Ready to get started."
Gilbert comes to Laurel's police department after previously working in the Ellisville Police Department and also serving in the United States Army.
"I'm just extremely grateful for the opportunity, you know this is something I wanted to do since I was a child," Gilbert said. "You know I'm just ready to get to work."
Laurel's chief of police, Tyrone Stewart is happy to bring the new officers in but he is still looking for one more.
"It's always enjoyment to bring new fresh officers in, and with the addition of these two, it brings our staff to fifty-four, of course, we budgeted for fifty-five this year," Stewart said. "As soon as we hire another officer we will be fully staffed, and as the chief of police you always want to have a full staff."
For those looking to apply for the final spot, chief Stewart advises them to do the job for the right reasons.
"Make sure it's in your heart," Stewart said. "You have to really have it in your heart and mind to get out here and serve."