Add two more names to the ever-growing list of experienced police officers who’ve become part of the Garden Grove Police Department family.
With family, friends and their new GGPD brothers and sisters looking on, two more laterals – officers who transfer from other police agencies – were sworn in by Chief Todd Elgin at the Garden Grove Community Meeting Center on Monday. Feb. 27.
Since 2016, GGPD has hired more than 22 lateral officers.
“That’s a big deal for us,” Elgin said. “Lateral police officers are a big benefit to our agency. The big reason…they already know how to do police work.”
The newest laterals are Officer Joshua Brannon, who comes to GGPD from the Los Angeles Police Department, and Kris Kelley, who transitions from the Montclair PD.
For Brannon, 26, hiring on at GGPD represents a homecoming.
The husband and father has spent his life in Garden Grove, graduated from Pacific High School and has family in the city.
“I grew up here,” Brannon said. “I played football here. My entire life has been based in Garden Grove. I think it’s going to be great to kind of give back to the community that I grew up in.”
Also, coming from an agency with close to 10,000 sworn officers to a department with 166 sworn officers was a huge draw for Brannon.
“I like the fact that it is very family oriented.” Brannon said of GGPD. “I like the more tight-knit kind of groups.”
Kelley, 34, who also grew up in Orange County, served in the U.S. Army from 2002 to 2007 and stayed on as an Army reservist until 2016.
While on active duty, Kelley was a member of the Military Police Corps and deployed to Africa, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq.
On another assignment, Kelley guarded five 9/11 terrorists while stationed in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
“It’s a great move, because I wanted to get back to Orange County,” Kelley said of joining GGPD. “And the tradition that this department has and the reputation that it has of being the best police department … I wanted to be part of that.”
GGPD has expedited the hiring process for laterals, making the move an attractive option for officers wanting to make a change.
Behind the Badge reported in January that GGPD laterals aren’t required to go through the six-month police academy for new recruits and their field training also may be reduced since they’ve already been out in the field.
“We are looking forward to tapping into what they bring to the table to strengthen our organization as we move forward,” Elgin said. “These two gentlemen come with significant time on the job, lots of experience and they are hungry to get out there and work.”