Four new Merriam police officers are ready to protect and serve our community.
The Meriam Police Department on Monday swore in Officers April Gebke, Grant Sparks, Bradley Thomas, and Beau Soucie at the Aug. 28 City Council meeting. They took their oaths of office and received their badges.
The four graduated from the 121st Johnson County Regional Police Academy on Aug. 25. Merriam Police Chief Michael Daniels said this is the first time the City has had four officers graduate from the Academy at same time.
“Merriam Police is proud to add Officers Gebke, Soucie, Sparks, and Thomas to our family,” Chief Daniels said. “I wish them good luck with their field training and want them to remember: courage, sacrifice, compassion are our core values.”
The new officers said they’re excited to begin their new careers in law enforcement.
Gebke, 22, received her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from William Wood’s University in Fulton, Missouri. She said she likes how police officers are part of a team.
“We all work together to accomplish one goal each and every day,” Gebke said. “That goal is to help people throughout the community, and I’m glad I can be a part of that.”
Sparks, 22, grew up in Merriam and will soon receive his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Central Missouri. He wanted to be a police officer so he could follow in his father’s, retired Merriam Officer Todd Sparks, footsteps.
“He inspired me to become one,” Sparks said.
Thomas, 21, graduated high school from Shawnee Mission East and is currently in the Kansas Army National Guard as a military police officer. He joined Merriam’s police department to do something to “better my community.”
“After completing the Academy, I feel accomplished and ready to go out and do my best for my department,” Thomas said.
Soucie, 24, received a criminology degree from Kansas State University. He joined the police force because he wanted his “life’s work to mean something.”
“It’s the most noble profession I can think of,” Soucie said. “And, by the end of my career, I know I will be able to look back and get satisfaction knowing that my work was selfless and made a positive impact on the lives of the people I served.”
The four new officers begin field training tomorrow.