Six new peace officers and one firefighter took oaths today to protect and serve Mankato.
All have different backgrounds and experience, but one peace officer is an asset the department hasn't had before.
At today's swearing in ceremony held at Mankato's Intergovernmental Center, dozens of friends and family members looked on as their loved ones received their badge.
Director of Mankato Public Safety, Todd Miller says, "Whether you are a firefighter or a peace officer, this is a commitment to our employees to come and serve the community."
Knowing that their husband, son, grandson, or brother will miss a holiday or two because of his duties.
Miller says, "We want their family to realize that we appreciate them for allowing their family member to join us, the Mankato Department of Public Safety."
Of the six peace officers and one firefighter sworn in today, Mohamed Mohamed has the distinction of being the first Somali peace officer hired by Mankato's Public Safety Department.
Miller says, "The agency should be reflective of the community we serve. So obviously we are very well represented with female officers but we are not as represented with some of the minorities in our community as it changes."
Over the past five to seven years, Miller says Mankato's Somali population has grown.
Totaling somewhere between twenty five hundred and three thousand people, today .
Newly sworn in police officer, Mohamed Mohamed says, "That's another reason why I chose Mankato. To help build a bridge between the police department and the city and the community."
With the ability to speak English, Somali and Arabic, the department says his knowledge will better serve all of Mankato.
Miller says, "That helps us immensely."
Mohamed says, "I'm lucky to be in the city. I've always looked for a city that supports the community. Works for the community and that is what drew me to Mankato."
Miller says three newly sworn in officers will begin their duties at the beginning of next month.
Those who have just started their sixteen week long training will begin theirs this September.