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three months. Officer Andrew Williams is not only a 3rd generation military veteran, but also a 3rd Generation police officer at the Vidalia Police Department. “I am a third generation serving in the military then coming to serve here at the Vidalia Police Department. It started with my granddad [the late James Williams], then his son, which is my dad, [former Officer Joel Williams] and now, me. All three of us served in different branches of the military, but we all came here to Vidalia Police Department to serve,” he emphasized.

Williams was hired by the Department last year and worked in the department’s front office until early this year, when he entered the Basic Law Enforcement Training Course in Forsyth. Williams graduated from the course on March 24, and is now enthusiastic about getting to work for Vidalia.

“[The Academy] was kind of structured like the military, but not exactly,” Williams explained. “We had physical training almost every day, and did a lot of training on shooting, driving, first aid, and trauma. It was very academic heavy.”

The United States Air Force Veteran, who spent a year and a half in the Force before leaving because of medical reasons, said that his military experience had really prepared him for his time at the Academy. “My Corporal was telling me earlier, if you go through the military, it prepares you for pretty much everything in life, and I think that’s true. The police academy had its difficult moments, but I feel like I was able to bear it due to being in the military. It had the structure and all, just as the military did,” he said.

When asked what he was excited for most in the future of his career, Williams was enthusiastic about his opportunity for impacting others. “I’m really looking forward to making a difference in people’s lives,” he remarked. “With everything going on in the world today with police officers, I want to show that it is not necessarily the way that everything seems – police officers are human, too, and we can show kindness and make a true difference in the world despite everything going on.”

Williams also expressed that based on his experience, he would recommend working at the Vidalia Police Department if interested in law enforcement. “My advice would be just learn a little bit of the basics about things. You don’t have to go in depth about stuff, but I would definitely research what you’re getting into – maybe learn a little bit about statutory laws, case laws, handguns, shotguns, rifles, handcuffing, etc – just some basics before going up to the Academy,” he added.

The new officer will complete three months of ride-along field training before being released to patrol on his own. His field training officer San Antonio Wilcher shared his thoughts on Williams so far in his experience working with him. “Officer Williams is a bright officer,” Wilcher commented. “He is going to go far here. He is very smart and very productive, and I have faith in him.”

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