The Hanford Police Department has grown its numbers with a set of new hires.
At Tuesday's City Council meeting Hanford Police Chief Parker Sever introduced three new officers to the City they would be protecting, before their badges were pinned onto them by their families. The first of these officers, Kayla Smith, was actually a lateral officer hired on in May from the Avenal Police Department, where she served for more than three years. She is also a resident of Hanford.
“We’re excited to have her on board. Already, you can tell by her contagious smile that she’s a joy to have around the Police Department," Sever said. "And we’re excited for all that she’ll bring to our Police Department in the future.”
Her badge was pinned on by her brother, Josh.
Smith was joined by two officers hired from the most recent College of the Sequoias Police Academy Class to graduate in July. One of them was Visalia resident Anthany Zamora. Hired in September, Zamora was a longtime member of the Hanford Police's Junior Explorers program, which Sever says made him highly recommended when the time came to hire.
“And very few of our explorers have come with as many officers telling me how dumb I was if I didn’t hire him," Sever said. "They were really impressed with the number of years he spent on our explorer program, and they knew he’d be a great officer for us.”
His father, David, pinned on his badge.
Rounding out the new hires was Maria Lara. Hired on the same day as Zamora in September, she is a resident of Corcoran.
“She’s also the officer with the smallest bulletproof vest that I’ve ever seen in my life," Sever said "But we’re pretty sure she’s pretty mighty, so I’m not worried about it at all."
Her badge was pinned her by her brother, Fresno County Sheriff's Office Deputy Jose Lara, and by her sister, FBI analyst Mariam Rivera.