Two new officers are now patrolling the streets of Huntington.
Patrolman Benjamin Spurgeon and Patrolman Shane Blair began solo patrols this week, six months after being hired to replace two officers who retired from the Huntington Police Department.
Over those six months, Spurgeon and Blair attended 16 weeks of training at the Indiana Police Academy, graduating March 22. Blair graduated second in the class of about 160 officers, Huntington Police Chief E.J. Carroll notes.
Once they returned to Huntington, they spent about 10 weeks working with experienced HPD officers in a field training program.
Both Fort Wayne natives, Blair graduated from Huntington North High School in 2000 and Spurgeon from Homestead High School in 2005.
Blair earned a degree in secondary education from Indiana-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, in 2004. With no teaching jobs available, he went to work in the Department of Child Services, a job that eventually sparked an interest in law enforcement.
Spurgeon previously worked as the manager of Parkmoor Car Wash, in Huntington, and has served as a reserve officer with the Huntington Police Department for the past three years.
Blair has been assigned to second shift, while Spurgeon will be working third shift. They fill vacancies created by the retirements of veteran officers Kenny Taylor and Chip Olinger.