WESTFIELD, NJ -- New Westfield Police Officer Gregory Penn was sworn in by Mayor Andy Skibitsky during the Town Council meeting on March 18.

“One of the most important things a police chief can do is hire a new officer,” said Westfield Police Chief David Wayman. “After numerous candidate interviews, we interviewed Officer Penn. We decided Officer Penn would be best for Westfield.”

Penn’s mother, Donna Knapp, held the Bible under his right hand as he was sworn in and attached his police pin to his jacket.

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Penn was hired on Nov. 11, 2013, before he graduated from the police academy in December. He is currently approximately two-thirds the way through his 16-week field training program.

“This is a life-long dream,” said Penn.

Penn is also a certified EMT and firefighter. He graduated from Brookdale College with his associate degree.

Before Penn’s swearing in, Wayman read former President Calvin Coolidge’s quote: “No one is compelled to choose the profession of a police officer, but having chosen it, everyone is obliged to live up to the standard of its requirements.”