By Russell Hixson
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Four Oklahoma State University police officers were sworn in Thursday afternoon, expanding the department.
OSU Police Chief Michael Robinson said the four candidates were chosen after a lengthy interview process. Two of the positions are new. Robinson said the applicant pool was one of the best the department has seen in years.
"They are just really great guys and we are proud to have them," Robinson said.
Officers Donald Booker, Justin Gorton, Wes Dawson and Jason Suitor held up their hands and read the oath of office. It was followed by cheers from family and friends.
Booker is a former Oklahoma State University football player from Houston. Previously he worked in a prison but wanted to be more in the justice field. He said he is excited to be back at the school.
"It's like a family and it's an honor to be sworn in," Booker said.
Not long ago Gorton was an area manager for a fast-food pizza chain.
"I decided it was something I didn't want to do for the rest of my life," he said.
Everything changed when he found out the university was hiring. Gorton made it through the grueling interview process and training and is excited to start his new career in law enforcement.
"It feels like I'm doing something better and I'm proud of what I do now," he said, adding he is looking forward to interacting with students and faculty and becoming a part of the community. Gorton is also studying chemical engineering at the school.
Suitor is from Tulsa. He said he grew up around several police officers and their stories of life behind the badge made him want to pursue a career in law enforcement.
"You always want to help people," he said. He is looking forward to making memories and being able to tell a few stories of his own.
Dawson declined to be interviewed.
All four officers are graduates of OSU.
Robinson said this gives them all insight into the campus culture and will help them in dealing with students as they understand what that is like.
OSU police has 33 commissioned police officers.