FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Springfield, Mo. – On Friday, Dec. 16, the Springfield Police Department (SPD) welcomed one new officer into the ranks who graduated from the 21st Lateral Police Academy and also welcomed a former officer back to SPD.
A lateral officer is an experienced officer who came from another law enforcement agency and attends an abbreviated academy at the Springfield Regional Police and Fire Training Center. During the lateral academy, they receive six weeks (240 hours) of training to become acclimated to Springfield and the Springfield Police Department. After graduation, the officers are assigned to an experienced field-training officer (FTO) for six weeks of on-the-job training. Once that’s completed, the new officers are assigned to SPD’s Uniform Operations Bureau.
Officer Rudy Rodriguez comes to Springfield from Long Beach, California, where he previously spent six years on patrol. Rodriguez also spent six years in the U.S. Marines and served in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Grantham University in 2013.
“I am excited to join the community in Springfield,” Rodriguez said. “When I was looking for a place to raise my family and serve as an officer, Springfield was the perfect fit.”
Officer Damiun Walker resigned in good standing from SPD in 2021 to work outside of law enforcement but decided to return to policing and has now been welcomed back to SPD. Walker holds a bachelor of science degree in economics from the University of Arkansas and originally graduated with the 66th Springfield Police Academy in 2015.
Congratulations to the Springfield Police Department’s newest officers.
Pictured left to right: Officer Damiun Walker, Police Chief Paul Williams, Officer Rudy Rodriguez,
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Media Contact: Cora Scott, Director of Public Information and Civic Engagement