GREENFIELD — David Rivera was sworn in before the public as the newest officer in the Greenfield Police Department during the Jan. 14 city council meeting.
Rivera was officially in his third week of duty, having completed the police academy on Dec. 20.
“It’s a tough job. He did well in the academy,” said Capt. James Hunt, acting chief for the department. “He’s just taking all his knowledge and skills he acquired in the academy and applying them to in-field situations. So far so good.”
“It was a whole different kind of job but I wanted it, and talked to my wife and she supported me through it,” said Rivera, who was born and raised in Salinas and had previously worked in education with Monterey County.
He said his choice to enter law enforcement in Greenfield came from that desire to serve as well as having had family who lived in the city.
“It’s a community that has come together and it’s growing,” Rivera said. “At the same time, I wanted to help and serve my community as best as possible.”
Rivera began the police academy in June, and after completing academy training on Dec. 20, he began one week of in-house training with the Greenfield Police Department. For the two weeks after that, he had undergone field training.
In order to carry out his duties as a member of law enforcement, Rivera had been sworn in earlier by the department, making the ceremony on Jan. 14 the second time he’d been sworn in.
“We didn’t have the chance to recognize him publicly,” Hunt said. “This was our opportunity to swear him in in a public setting.” He later added, “Each agency does things a little different, and here in Greenfield we like to do it publicly so the community can be part of it.”
Rivera’s family was present to watch the ceremony and become part of it, though his wife and young child were not able to attend. His father, Juan Rivera, pinned on his badge.
“I’m asking David’s family to come up and be part of this ceremony because they are the most important people in his life,” said Hunt, as family members came forward to stand with Rivera. “They will be there for the ups and downs, the joys and sadness, long after the uniform is put to rest. This is as much David’s celebration as it is his family’s.”
After the badge ceremony, the council members came up to shake Rivera’s hand and congratulate him.
“Being sworn in is a time-honored tradition in law enforcement,” Hunt said. “The officer swears to uphold the Constitution as the law of the land as well as faithfully execute the duties of the position.” He went on to describe the badge presentations as “exciting parts of a person’s life.”