By Justin Cox
Killeen Daily Herald
This time last year, Angela Booker worked at the Killeen Police Department desk and served as one of the many public service officers, or PSOs, employed with KPD.
But Friday at noon, Booker – along with 13 others – was sworn in as KPD's newest graduating class after completing the basic peace officer course.
Friends and family members, half of whom came with camera in hand, waved to the graduates as they claimed their diplomas and stood in front of the crowd gathered at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center, where they were sworn in as the newest additions to the Killeen police force.
For Booker, a longtime Killeen resident, Friday's graduation was the culmination of hard work and a goal that she first set her eyes on more than 14 months ago.
"It's just something I've always wanted to do," she said, flanked by friends and family, including her mother, Yulane Mathews. "I've been in law enforcement for four or five years. It's just the next step in my career. I was working at the desk for about eight months."
She said it was her goal from minute one, and she was excited at the opportunity to get into the first peace officer class available.
"I was going to move up eventually," the 25-year-old Booker said, "and I knew I was going to become a Killeen police officer. I just didn't know it would happen so soon. I thought I was going to wait a couple years, but it just happened ... it (the training class) was good. They teach you what you need to know. I feel good, and I feel ready to get out there and get started."
Her mother said she is nervous but pleased that her daughter is happy.
"I pray a whole lot. I'm very nervous, but I'm very happy for her," she said. "I was kind of upset (when she first heard her daughter's intentions of becoming a cop), but she was so determined. She was so determined to get those tests, she was studying so much, I told her to slow down because she was studying so much. Her mind was always on that."
Assistant Chief of Police Larry Longwell gave a send-off speech before the 14 officers were sworn in, speaking about the duties and responsibilities of wearing the shield.
"Start being role models today," Longwell said. "This is the greatest job in the world. Have a blast."
The 14 who graduated Friday were: Selena F. Atkins, Angela S. Booker, Tramel R. Bracey, Lane W. Copelin, James P. Craigg, Stephen M. Frucella, Tarita L. Hagan, Lacy J. Kurczewski, Ramiro Martinez, Ricardo Martinez, Christopher M. Morris, Luis R. Osorio, Amy L. Smith and Jason B. Wright.
Contact Justin Cox at email@example.com or call (254) 501-7568