SEMMES, Ala. (WKRG) — A historic day in Semmes as the city held a swearing-in ceremony for its first four police officers.

At the ceremony at Semmes Honor Park, people gave a standing ovation for the four new police officers. They’ll fight the issues facing Semmes.

“Crime is at the top of the list. We want to address certain areas in our community that are crime-ridden,” said Semmes Police Chief Todd Freind.

He said the biggest crime problems in Semmes are property and drug crimes. Along with the new officers, the department is also getting a new headquarters.

“Our headquarters will be at the dead end of Illinois Street. when those guys move out into city hall and we’ll move in and take over their space,” said Freind. “We did that for a reason, so we would have more visibility over that because a lot of your crime is in that area, so we want more presence in that area.”

With arms outstretched, people prayed for the growing police department. The goal is to have 16 officers by the beginning of 2023.

“We’ll have four more next month, four more in December, four more January, and then we’ll be at full steam,” said Freind.

As Semmes Police grow, the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office will step back from the help they currently provide.

“As we implement one shift,” said Freind. “Then the sheriff’s department will pull one shift out and redistribute how they see fit.”