The Ridgecrest Police Department swore in its newest officer, Officer Hector Gomez, on Tuesday morning. Gomez is the fourth new officer RPD hired from the San Bernardino Academy class that graduated on March 16.

RPD Chief Ron Strand said that the hire of Gomez brings the RPD back up to a full staff. Strand also stated that the four officers hired were at the top of their class at the academy.

"I think we got the top four from that academy," Strand said.

Gomez was born in Los Angeles and earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Cal State San Bernardino in 2014. His biography states that he enjoys working out and shooting, and Strand noted that he's also an excellent runner.

Gomez's girlfriend accompanied him at the swearing in ceremony, where Gomez stated that they had been together four years.

"We've been together through thick and thin," he said, explaining that she's supported him through his years of training on the path to become a police officer.

The swearing in ceremony, like the swearing in ceremony RPD holds for all new officers, ended with the new officer's loved one pinning the badge onto his uniform for the first time. A press release from RPD states that the badge ceremony is a symbol of trust, challenging the new officer to always remember why they entered law enforcement in the first place.

"If you remember the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics you will go a long way in being successful in your chosen career," the statement reads.