Salt River PD swears in new officers; prepares to bury fallen of - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Salt River PD swears in new officers; prepares to bury fallen officer

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The two newest members of the Salt River Police Department graduated from the police academy Thursday with a shroud on their badges. (Source: CBS 5 News) The two newest members of the Salt River Police Department graduated from the police academy Thursday with a shroud on their badges. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Salt River Police Chief Patrick Melvin said he also graduated from the academy with a shroud on his badge after Phoenix Police Officer Robert Fike had been killed in the line of duty. (Source: CBS 5 News) Salt River Police Chief Patrick Melvin said he also graduated from the academy with a shroud on his badge after Phoenix Police Officer Robert Fike had been killed in the line of duty. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Salt River Police Officer Michael Lowry, center. (Source: CBS 5 News) Salt River Police Officer Michael Lowry, center. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Salt River Police Officer Michael Stahl, left. (Source: CBS 5 News) Salt River Police Officer Michael Stahl, left. (Source: CBS 5 News)
PEORIA, AZ (CBS5) -

As they prepare to say goodbye to one of their own, the Salt River Police Department is also welcoming two new members onto the force.

Officers Michael Lowry and Michael Stahl were joined by 23 Maricopa County sheriff's deputies who, after 21 weeks at the MCSO academy, also took their oaths as peace officers Thursday evening.

The graduation and swearing in ceremony took place just a few hours before visitation for Officer Jair Cabrera, who was shot to death during a traffic stop May 24.           

"They all are graduating with a shroud over their badge, because they've lost a fellow member of the law enforcement family," said Salt River Police Chief Patrick Melvin.

Melvin said he could relate to Lowry and Stahl, who are joining the department during a period of mourning.

"When I graduated from the academy, I had a shroud on my badge also," he explained. "We had just lost an officer. (Phoenix Police) Officer Robert Fike. So, you never forget."

Melvin said law enforcement officers know the risks that come with the job, but he still took time to meet with his new officers before they were sworn in.

"I wanted to let reality sink in; to let them know the profession they're getting into is very serious, very dangerous," he explained. "But, yet, it's an honorable profession."

Lowry and Stahl accepted the challenge, just like Cabrera had done seven years ago.

"That's what we do," said Melvin. "We protect and serve. And, we take that seriously. And, our new officers today and the new deputies, they're going out into their respective communities to do just that - to protect and serve."

A memorial service for Cabrera begins at 10 a.m. Friday at Christ Church of the Valley in Peoria.

After the service, a procession will take him to his final resting place at Phoenix Memorial Park.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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