Three new BPD officers take oath

Three new BPD officers take oath

Beaumont Police welcomed three new officers to the department Thursday, Aug 23: Yatara Martin, James Wesley Powell and John Woods.

Martin has previously worked as a juvenile corrections officer for the Texas Youth Commission and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice from Lamar University. Martin said she has always wanted to be a police officer.

“When my job closed at the Texas Youth Commission, this position came open through LIT (Lamar Institute of Technology) and so I just went for my dreams.”

Martin is also the mother of three children, which can be a tough task in and of itself.

“My family is very supportive of me; they understand the job duties and everything that I am going to go through,” she said. “I prepared them ahead of time.”

Powell is a veteran of the United States Air Force where he served as an explosives ordinance disposal specialist. Powell’s son motivated his father to join the police force after leaving the Air Force.

“My son is 19 and is in his second year of studying criminal justice,” he said. “When I got out of the military, I toyed with the idea of being a police officer, and my son rekindled my fire and inspired me to start looking at that avenue again. I am hoping that someday he and I can work in the same department together.”

Woods, 41, attended the University of Houston and Lamar University and was a former manager at AutoZone. He is also a recent graduate of the Beaumont Police Department’s Citizens Police Academy. His attendance at that civilian academy spurred his interest in joining the law enforcement profession.

“I just felt like it was time for a change, and this felt like the right place for me to go,” Woods said. “I’m a little older than the average candidate, so (the training) was a bit of a challenge, but I did what I was supposed to do and was asked to do and got through it. (The program) is structured to make you successful as long as you’ve got the drive and the willingness to do it.”

Chief James Singletary swore the officers in and spoke to the many attendees at the Oath of Office Ceremony in the Training Room the Beaumont Police Department, including family, friends, and fellow officers.

“Next to the military, this is the most honorable job there is,” Singletary said.