Breckenridge Texan

Bufkin fulfills life-long dream by becoming Breckenridge Police officer

Bufkin fulfills life-long dream by becoming Breckenridge Police officer
November 18
10:29 2020

By Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan

On Tuesday morning, 2017 Breckenridge High School graduate Bryce Bufkin’s dream came true as he was sworn in as the Breckenridge Police Department’s newest police officer.

Breckenridge Municipal Judge Kim Baggett swears in Bryce Bufkin as the city’s newest police officer. Joining the Breckenridge Police Department is a dream come true for Bufkin. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

“Bryce is from Breckenridge, grew up in Breckenridge, and I think he was 18 years old the first time he jumped in the patrol car with me. And ever since then he couldn’t wait to be 21 and go to the academy and get it done,” Police Chief Bacel Cantrell said during Bufkin’s swearing in ceremony at the City Commission chambers on Nov. 17. “So he did. He finished the Academy. So we’re glad to have him with us.”

Following the ceremony, Bufkin said he was excited to be joining the force because it was a dream come true. “Oh, it feels great. I feel like I’ve waited my whole life for this,” he said. “(It’s) like Bacel said earlier, since I was 18, I would go on ride alongs with him. I couldn’t wait to be 21 and go to the academy. And now that I’m here, it feels great. I wanted to do this my whole life, and now I’m finally getting to do it. I want to make sure I do everything I can to do well by the Breckenridge Police Department. And I’m gonna do my best to make sure that happens.”

Cantrell said it was nice to have someone that’s local because it’s more likely that if you put that investment in someone that’s local, they’ll stay local, which helps the Breckenridge Police Department retain police officers. He said it also puts a little bit more accountability on the officer being local because everyone knows them and they have a relationship with the community.

Bufkin attended the West Central Texas Law Enforcement Academy in Abilene, which is taught through the West Central Texas Council of Governments, and graduated on Nov. 11. Cantrell said the academy typically starts in February and ends in September, but because of COVID-19 conditions, it was delayed this year and just recently ended. He said Bufkin attended classes, going part-time Monday through Friday, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., and on Saturdays from 8 a.m.  to 5 p.m..  “So it’s a lot of time that goes in, especially working a full-time job,” Cantrell said.

Breckenridge Police Chief Bacel Cantrell pins the badge on the department’s newest officer, Bryce Bufkin, at Bufkin’s swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday morning, Nov. 17. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Additionally Cantrell said they decided to make a bigger ceremony out of swearing in new police officers who recently graduated from the academy because of the amount of work they go through to earn their licensing and certification.

“Bryce is my first officer recruit from the Academy,” Cantrell said.  “I’ve had two officers come back since I’ve been here (as police chief) that had worked here prior. So Bryce is going to be my first new guy on the force, and I’m just excited for it.”

There will also be another local police cadet who is expected to join the department in December, Cantrell said. Cheyenne Ramirez, who is currently serving as an animal control officer for the department, will take her state licensing exam in mid-December. “She’s currently our animal control officer, so she’ll just make that transition and go to patrol shift from there,” he said.

Cantrell said that after Bufkin was sworn in, the department still needs four more officers.

He said the department typically has 12 and 1 animal control officer and right now, counting himself, they have eight.

“And so, I’m on normal routine patrol shifts, and the captain’s on new normal routine patrol shifts. So it’s all hands on deck right now,” Cantrell said. “We’re excited to start getting a couple of recruits, get these two in and hopefully next year we’ll get a couple more. Hopefully we’ll be in good shape.”

Bryce Bufkin, second from left, is welcomed to the Breckenridge Police Department by Officer Brandon Berkley. Chief Bacel Cantrell and Capt. Jay Walker. Bufkin graduated from the police academy in Abilene on Nov. 11. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Cutline, top photo: Breckenridge Police Chief Bacel Cantrell shakes Bryce Bufkin’s hand, welcoming him to the police department on Tuesday, Nov. 17. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

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