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New police
Municipal Court Judge Mary Jane Knisley swears in three new police officers from left, Cory Kirkpatrick, 21, of Billings, Joseph Dickerson, 30, of Billings, and Jeremy Boeckel, 29, from Missoula on Sept. 7, 2010.

Three Billings police officers were sworn in Tuesday morning in municipal court.

Officers Cory Kirkpatrick, 21, of Billings, Jeremy Boeckel, 29, of Missoula and Joseph Dickerson, 30, of Billings, were sworn in by Municipal Court Judge Mary Jane Knisley.

Since 2006, 50 new officers have been sworn in to the department.

“People are counting on you for hope,” Judge Knisley said. “It’s a big duty and a pretty big burden to bear.”

Deputy Chief Tim O’Connell issued Boeckel and Dickerson their badges, but when it came to Kirkpatrick, O’Connell stepped aside and allowed Lt. Mark Kirkpatrick to do the honor.

Cory is his son.

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“This badge is 21-years-old,” Kirkpatrick said as he pulled it from his coat pocket.

“It’s older than you. Congratulations.”

O’Connell told the men the reason they were hired was because of their integrity.

“That’s what our job is built on,” O’Connell said. “It’s what you have and what you had to get hired. They have integrity and starting out, that’s the way we want them. I can’t stress the importance of that.”

All three new officers will head out for 12 weeks of academy training Sunday.

After that, it’s another 14 weeks until they are allowed to patrol the streets solo.

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