Vicksburg and Port Gibson native JaByron McGloster graduated Monday from the Baton Rouge Police Academy, along with just eight other recruits in a class that started with 34.
The Baton Rouge Police Academy pledges to offer the best, most comprehensive training for their recruits and requires 790 hours of training to become an officer, well over the 496 hours that are required legally. It was a challenge that McGloster said required him to dig deep and many of his fellow recruits, some with military backgrounds, dropped out along the way.
“I’ve never been a quitter,” McGloster said. “But it was really hard. There were times that you had kind of like a come to Jesus moment and just had to think, ‘is this really for me?’ But I’ve never been one to just quit something once I start.”
McGloster had more than just steel resolve to help him rise to the occasion; he is following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Charles Groves, Sr., who was the first Black police officer to serve in the City of Port Gibson.
“I’m definitely doing it for my mama, too,” McGloster said. “To make her proud.”
McGloster celebrated his 26th birthday on Sunday, a milestone that he says made his graduation all that much more special and significant for him. He plans to serve in Baton Rouge for a few years, but ultimately, he hopes to come home and serve the community that raised him to be the man he is today.