CLAYTON — Mayor Jody McLeod has sworn in Clayton’s newest police officer.
Tyler Golden, 24, of Selma has donned the uniform and taken the oath, officially joining the ranks of Clayton police officers.
“I see a lot of room for growth in my career here,” Golden said.
McLeod said welcoming new officers to the force was among his favorite duties as mayor.
“In Clayton we have the goal to be the safest and healthiest community in the Triangle,” McLeod said.
He congratulated Golden on earning his place on the Clayton police force.
Growing up, Golden said, he always knew he wanted to be a police officer. He graduated from Smithfield-Selma High in 2007 and did his police training at Johnston County Community College and the Coastal Plains Law Enforcement Training Center in Wilson.
Though young, Golden has already seen a lot. He spent the past year as an officer in Kinston, where he came face to face with serious crimes, including murder. Golden brings that law enforcement experience to Clayton.
“If we get some kind of serious crime here, he’ll be able to address it,” Chief R.W. Bridges said.
Golden said he’s looking forward to working in a town with less crime and where officers enjoy more respect.
“He’s a good person,” Bridges said. “He’s a neighborhood kid made good.”
The department hopes to swear in another candidate some time this month. That would give Clayton a full force of 42 officers.
Golden’s 12-hour-shifts have already begun. He’s looking forward to working hard to advance in the ranks and hopes to one day be paired with a canine.
Golden’s mother, Terry Johnson, attended the swearing-in ceremony.