Two women join ranks of Clovis police

CNJ staff photo: Sharna Johnson Clovis Police Chief Steve Sanders shakes the hand of new officer Ruth Martinez Monday while fellow recruit Patty Terry looks on. The two women were sworn in Tuesday in an afternoon ceremony at the police department.

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer

Tuesday, two women joined the ranks at Clovis Police Department, bringing the number of female officers at the department to three.

Police Chief Steve Sanders swore-in the two newest officers at a small afternoon ceremony.

Their addition to the force brings the department two officers shy of a full staff of 68, the highest staffing the department has seen in several years.

“This is the first time I’ve had two female officers sworn in at the same time,” Sanders told a group of fellow officers, friends and family members.

“As you embark, remember you are now a member of the law enforcement brother and sisterhood.”

Ruth Martinez and Patty Terry stood while family members pinned badges on their uniforms, then together, raised their hands and swore oaths of service.

Martinez is a former detention officer from Amarillo. Terry is a nursing student, who decided to make a career change.

They begin field training next week, shadowing a senior officer while they get on the job training.

Sander said they will also attend the police academy this summer.

Earlier this month, officers Daniel Cesarez and Holly Dirksmyer graduated from the academy. Both recruits are a point of pride for the department, he said.

Dirksmyer was at the top of the class in academics and the pair ranked in the 80th percentile for the physical portion of the curriculum.

The department also recently welcomed an African American male recruit.

Sanders said the department’s hiring process shaken out the best candidates for positions and the city is lucky to have also benefited through diversity.

“We now have a staff of three female officers, which I think is very unique,” he said.

“We’ve just been fortunate that we’ve been able to have diversity (that you usually don’t find in smaller communities).”