A new California police officer who couldn't make it to his recruit class' graduation because of the birth of his second child received a one-on-one swearing-in ceremony.
The Modesto Police Department's most recent recruit class graduated in a ceremony Tuesday, but Officer Trent Kersey couldn't participate in the event, KCRA-TV reports. Instead, he was at the hospital attending the birth of his second child.
That didn't deter the department from having one of their newest recruits sworn in as a new officer, however.
"Despite not being at the graduation ceremony, he met with our Chiefs and Command Staff to be sworn in at the hospital with his wife, son, and family by his side," the department stated in a social media post that included a photo of Kersey holding his newborn son.
Although the graduation was important, Kersey felt a strong duty to be with his wife for the birth of his son.
“I had to put my family first,” Kersey told KRCA.
The department showed similar determination when it came to making sure that Kersey was honored for graduating from the academy. Sharon Bear, a Modestor police spokeswoman, told KRCA that the private swearing-in ceremony was a way of letting Kersey and other officers know that the department undestands the idea of work-life balance.
“We want them to know that we understand that this career requires dedication and often involves balancing work and family, and our chief is so supportive of the family life outside of work,” she said.