DPD officer impresses at academy

L70A8602Jonathan Sommers does not believe in doing anything halfway. That fact proved evident again when the Demopolis Police Department’s newest police academy alumnus earned three of the five performance awards available to his graduating class.

“The way I am, personally, I pour myself wholeheartedly into everything I do. I give the best I can with absolutely everything, regardless of what it is,” Sommers said of the philosophy that helps govern his life. “I just did the best I could in everything that we did. It just turned out that in those areas, I happened to be the best one in the class. Of course it felt great because I’m a very competitive person. If I could have won them all, I would have.”

Sommers received the awards at his Aug. 1 graduation, recognitions that were selected by the police academy instructors.

“One of them was Most Improved Physical Fitness Award, which was that when I took the physical fitness test the first time when I took it the last time, it was the biggest difference in the class,” Sommers said. “The second one I got was the Defensive Driving and Pursuit Driving Award. We had a whole week of driving class and we went out to the Alabama Law Enforcement driving course. It is in Montgomery. They put on a class and then we have an obstacle course we have to navigate. There are cones and there’s penalties for hitting the cones. I actually had the fastest time with no penalties.”

Sommers also took home the Highest Academic Average Award, an honor given as the result of his class-leading 96.39 average.

A Demopolis native and member of the DHS Class of 2004, Sommers came to the police department after six years with the Demopolis Fire and Rescue Department.

photo-46“It’s something I’ve always thought about. I love helping people. I was born and raised here, so I ‘ve always wanted to help the people in this community,” Sommers said. “Before I came here, I was with the fire department for six years, so I got to help them that way. After talking to my family and seeing that there was an opportunity to come here, I decided that it was best to make the move. So I came on over to help in this way.”

But Sommers’ opportunity to serve the department was jeopardized nearly a year ago when he sustained a broken jaw in October, just months after accepting a job with the DPD.

“I was hired in August. I was supposed to go in December, but I broke my jaw in October and I wasn’t cleared until January,” Sommers said. “I came so close to not even being able to go the academy and could’ve potentially lost my job because of it. In that sense, the chief and the mayor and everybody were great with working with me and allowing me to keep my position and everything. Being able to go and complete the academy and doing well in it was very rewarding to me.”

“Jonathan is a good officer. We feel like if you are going to invest in a person, invest in their career. We wanted to invest in Jonathan as we have been able to do with other officers here,” Demopolis Police Department Chief Tommie Reese said. “He showed me that he really has a drive to be a good officer and that he wanted to be a good officer, so we felt like going the extra mile with him would be beneficial in the future. He has excelled in the academy and he will do an excellent job for the City of Demopolis for a long time.”