On Wednesday, the Kinston Police Department swore in ten officers into the department.
It comes as people mark National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.
The officers have gone through months, in many cases years, of training to get to Wednesday’s pinning ceremony.
Officer Emily Gray was one of them.
Gray said, “Any day you can get out of your car and you don’t know what you.re walking up to.”
Her mother pinned her badge during the ceremony.
Gray said, “She has been very supportive of me the entire time I’ve been through college.”
Gray, 23, attended Western Carolina University and studied criminal justice.
She spoke of the risk of the job. “You know you think of the risk,” she said. “You knew what you what you were getting into when you signed up for the profession. I just feel like this is something I’ve always wanted to do.”
It was a sentiment echoed by Kinston Police Chief Alonzo Jaynes.
Jaynes said, “People are going to test you, they are going to criticize you. The hours will be long and the praises will be short. But, if this is really your calling then none of that will matter.”
Gray said what matters for her, is the service. “It feels good sometime to get out there and be able to help people,” Gray said.