Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office holds graduation ceremony for new deputies

Published: Apr. 28, 2023 at 2:13 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 28, 2023 at 4:38 PM CDT
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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office introduced their latest graduating class to the public Friday morning.

The graduation ceremony for Session 64 graduates was held at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Training Academy in Fultondale.

More than 20 new deputies took the oath, cementing the culmination after 16 long weeks of training, challenges, and chasing a dream. It all came true Friday morning for Eleah Shields. It was a dream that took root when she was 19 years old.

“I thought about it and I was kind of nervous with all the risks that go along with being in law enforcement. But, I told myself it’s a calling, let’s just go do it and let’s try it,” said Shields who, is now a new deputy for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department.

“I always wanted to do it,” said new Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputy Cadie Oliver.

It was more than a calling for Oliver. She simply followed in her mother’s footsteps. They are the fist mother and daughter to serve on the force together.

“I can’t describe it. She has set her own path, but she’s blazing it. I am so proud of her and proud of the love she has for her community and for others,” said Oliver’s mom, Lt. Joni Money.

A total of 22 deputies graduated Friday morning. That’s on the low end, according to Jefferson County Sheriff Mark Pettway, who admitted that some potential recruits likely shied away from law enforcement these days. But the sheriff feels that will change in the near future. The goal is to have a graduating class of around 50.

“But, I do believe in the next year, those numbers will go up and we will have larger classes of people coming in and graduating,” said Jefferson County Sheriff Mark Pettway.

Eleah Sheilds and Cadie Oliver, newly minted deputies, are ready to serve and protect.

Sheriff Mark Pettway says he is eager to welcome the new deputies and their families into the JCSO family.

The sheriff graduates will get their assignments starting Saturday.

The graduating class included deputies who will work in other counties throughout the state such as Blount and Coffee.

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