The Denison Police Department welcomed three new officers to its ranks Thursday.

Jorge Molina, Devlon Wortham and Tyler Buchanan were officially sworn in at the department’s headquarters before a crowd of fellow officers, administrators, friends and family. The three men graduated from the Denton Public Safety Training Center on Wednesday with their state peace officer certifications and will undergo an additional 18 weeks of supervised patrol and training.

“This is a great day for our department and this is a great day for these young men,” Denison Police Chief Jay Burch said. “Graduating the police academy is an end to a major phase of getting into this business. But, starting today, it’s the beginning of the next phase and developing their careers as police officers. Of course, it’s our job now to make sure they’re the best officers they can be and serve the citizens of Denison and Grayson County, as well.”

Molina said the process of obtaining his certification was challenging but also enlightening thanks to instructors who called on their own service to illustrate the tactics and principals of law enforcement.

“Training was excellent,” Molina said. “They shared so much about the experiences they’ve had and that’s what really makes it real. Having their input, rather than reading out of a book or off a script, gave us an idea of what we’re really going to see outside.”

With academy training spanning between three and five months, Molina said he and his fellow officers learned a lot about themselves and each other, both professionally and personally.

“A lot of what we did was share back and forth about our lives on the way down there to the academy,” Molina said. “It was a good two and a half hour drive, so we’d catch each other falling asleep, listening to each other’s music. It was really good getting to know each other and I think it made us closer.”

Buchanan was joined by his wife at the ceremony and smiled as she pinned his badge to his uniform. The newly-minted officer said he was looking forward to getting out on patrol, but had already outlined some future goals for himself

“Ultimately, I want to get involved in narcotics or crimes against children,” Buchanan. “I think that’s important work and I’d like to be a part of it.”

Wortham said he was proud to be sworn in before his friends and family and that while the next 18 weeks would likely put his training and knowledge to the test, he felt confident in himself and the guidance he would receive from his new law enforcement family.

“It’s going to be long and stressful, but I think I’m ready for it,” Wortham said. “They’re going to even me out, and I’m going to continue to learn from them and educate myself.”