Six officers at the Albany Police Department were promoted on Monday night.
"We're quite pleased in trying to build this organization for the future. This is a key portion of that," says Chief John Proctor. "We have some more promotions to do at a substantial amount. I'm trying to be very meticulous in who I select so that I know these folks have the interest of this community."
Lieutenant Carmelita Preston was one of those promoted.
She says she wanted to be an attorney growing up and took Criminal Justice classes in high school. She says she later discovered her path in life was to be a detective.
"And that's what I did when I came to the Albany Police Department: I was in detectives for quite a while and I loved investigating. That was really the main reason for me coming into law enforcement was to investigate crimes," says Preston.
With the promotion comes more than just higher rank.
"The thing about being promoted is being a leader and to lead people that are under you and to get them to the point where you're at and pass where you're at right now," says Preston.
Chief Proctor says these officers have to show leadership within their team.
"They have to be leaders, they have to be willing to take chances and they have to mentor and bring along the other folks that are coming behind them," says Proctor.
Preston says she not only understands this as one of her responsibilities: It's one of her goals.
"One of my primary goals is to mentor the young officers â" they do need guidance â" and to get them to a point where they're establishing ranks: corporal, lieutenant, sergeant and even captain and a chief. We do have younger officers and they come in with degrees, but to give them the knowledge and training that they're going to get and just to lead them and mentor them."
Proctor says leadership from officers will help him build up the police department for the future.
"They will lead the troops on the ground and they have to be the best. They have to do the best, they have to work hard and they have to want to do this job," says Proctor.
He says he wants the new lieutenants and sergeants to lead with humility and determination, including when it comes to mistakes.
"You cannot be a leader from the back; you have to be a leader from the front. And leaders do make mistakes. I've told them that I'm not going to chop their necks off if they make mistakes; you make mistakes and you learn," Proctor says.
Bryan Lavoie, Tony Moore and Michael Persley were promoted to Lieutenant. Ernest Thompson and Terrance Whitlock were promoted to Sergeant.