Gregory Lemons’ voice was well-known to some Omahans as DJ “Hot Boy” on 106.9 FM, but residents will soon be seeing him outside the radio booth and on the streets as a newly appointed police officer.
Dozens of family and friends whooped and hollered as Lemons’ name was called at Friday’s ceremony inducting 52 Omaha Police Department recruits as new officers.
“I’m very proud,” said Lemons’ mother-in-law, Dianne Jones. “I’ve told him numerous times I’m proud of his accomplishments.”
Jones said Lemons made the radical career switch because it was a stable job and so he could spend more time with his family.
The 52 new officers were a part of the largest-ever recruiting class, which started its 23-week training in September.
Now the officers will start 15 weeks of field training.
Sgt. Amy Oetter, of the training academy, said the recruits suffered black eyes and broken bones in the demanding training.
“They are ready to protect and serve the citizens of the great city of Omaha,” she said.
Officer D’Nasha Jackson was awarded the second Kerrie S. Orozco “Kerrie On” award, which recognizes a recruit who mirrors Orozco’s leadership, character and volunteerism. Orozco was killed while attempting to arrest a fugitive in May 2015.
Officer Joseph Nickerson was chosen by his fellow recruits to give the class address.
“Thank you for believing us, being patient with us, and preparing us for this day,” Nickerson told the trainers. “We promise to make good on your investment in us.”
After the ceremony, Officer Josh Marreel said he was looking forward to helping Omahans.
Marreel is originally from Hooper, Nebraska, and is a former Marine. He said he wanted to continue the department’s strides to have positive relationships and interactions with residents.
“Bettering the community, getting to know people and shaking hands,” he said. “To help the people who need help.”