4 graduate from LCSO reserve academy

Published 10:28 pm Saturday, September 26, 2015

Photo by Julia V. Pendley / (From left) Brian Magee, Mary Hill, Dwayne Gill and Darryl Gibson graduate from the reserve academy Saturday.

Photo by Julia V. Pendley / (From left) Brian Magee, Mary Hill, Dwayne Gill and Darryl Gibson graduate from the reserve academy Saturday.

“As a law enforcement officer, my fundamental duty is to serve mankind; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the Constitutional rights of all men to liberty, equality and justice.”

Four new part-time deputies recited the law enforcement code of ethics as they recently celebrated their completion of the state-certified Lincoln County Reserve Academy.

“They made it,” Chief Deputy Johnny Hall Jr. said during the ceremony.

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From 23 applicants, 12 were chosen for the class and only Dwayne Gill, Darryl Gipson, Mary Hill and Brian Magee completed the nearly five-month training.

“We finished as a team and that’s what’s important,” Hall said. “Only the strongest survived.”

Hall reminded the graduates that the reason they trained so hard was to prepare for an important duty.

“We help protect the community and each other,” he said.

Sheriff Steve Rushing told the new deputies that their success relies on the support from loved ones.

“That’s the biggest thing to me — to have the support of family,” he said.

Rushing said it’s getting to be a tough time for law enforcement, but they should wear their new badges with pride. Hall also referenced the high tensions with law enforcement, but reminded the crowd that most officers have good intentions.

“Maybe there are bad cops, but there’s not one in Lincoln County,” Hall said.

Magee received the top academic award. Gill received the best shooter award. Gipson received the fighting award and best drill and training award. Hill and Gipson both received the highest overall score.

The final award given out was the Steve Davis Award to Magee. Davis, who died in a plane crash, was a sheriff’s deputy who graduated with Hall.

“You ask [Davis] to do anything, he was there,” Hall said. “I don’t think I ever heard [Magee] complain — maybe while we were running, but he was always in class.”

And though awards were nice, recognition is not why these four signed up for the academy.

“In light of all the things going on in the nation, I felt someone needed to step up and do the things others weren’t willing to do,” Gipson said.

Hill agreed adding that she signed up in an effort to better herself and to try to make a difference in the community. Gill, who is a retired veteran, said the same motivation that drove him to the military continued once he returned home.

“You’re protecting the public on a much different level,” he said. “You’re right here at home protecting your home folks.”

The candidates agreed that the training was not easy.

“I think the graduation ratio speaks for itself,” Gipson said.

The amount of rules and regulations is what stuck out as challenging rather than the physical training. Magee said although he came in not knowing what to expect, the outcome has been great.

“I’m just glad I did it, and I’m grateful to know these other three cadets,” he said.