CUMBERLAND — It was standing room only as a large gathering of Cumberland police officers, as well as their families, crowded the Town Council's chambers Wednesday to witness the swearing-in of Cumberland's two newest police recruits.
Officers Josh Vaughn and Gregory J. Pomfret were officially sworn in at a 20-minute ceremony presided over by Police Chief John R. Desmarais. Mayor Daniel J. McKee swore-in the two officers.
In his remarks, McKee said the town is proud to have two officers with local roots serving in the Cumberland Police Department, a nationally accredited police department.
Of the approximately 15,000 law enforcement agencies in the United States and Canada, only 450 — including Cumberland — are accredited.
Accreditation serves to distinguish participating organizations as having met professional standards of conduct and service.
“It's great to have the Police Department here and to have two young local kids with roots to the town joining our Police Department is very exciting,” McKee said. “We're blessed when our young people stay with us. These two officers also represent the best in the application pool and ranked in the top 10 percent of their class.”
“These two officers rose through the ranks of our recruitment process and attended and graduated from the Rhode Island Municipal Police Academy and tonight they are here with their family and friends,” added Desmarais.
Vaughn was born in Corpus Christi, Texas. At the age of 14, he and his parents moved to Cumberland, where his mother grew up.
Vaughn graduated from Cumberland High School and then joined the Marine Corps, attending boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. He spent a year in Japan and traveled throughout Southeast Asia, conducting humanitarian missions in the Philippines.
He was re-assigned to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina and was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In 2006, he married his wife, Ashley, and later welcomed a baby girl. That same year he was honorably discharged from the Marines.
Vaughn moved to Lincoln, Nebraska to pursue a degree in criminology at the University of Nebraska.
In 2010, Vaughn and his family moved back to Rhode Island and now live in North Smithfield.
Pomfret was born in 1985 in Woonsocket. In 1988, his family moved to Burrillville where Pomfret attended and graduated Burrillville High School. While at school, Pomfret played football, baseball and golf.
He attended Rhode Island College where he earned a bachelors degree in operations management in 2008.
He worked in sales and marketing at Liberty Mutual Insurance in Westborough, Mass., and in inside sales at Invoke Solutions in Waltham, Mass. He also held down a second job tending bar at the Crystal Lake Golf course in Burrillville.
Before he was recruited to the police force, he worked with special needs students at the Rhode Island Transition Academy in Warwick.
Both officers will be assigned to the Patrol Division.