PHOTO GALLERY — Port Arthur Police Department swears in 10 new officers

Published 6:01 pm Thursday, January 12, 2023

City leaders, friends and family members filled the fifth floor of City Hall Thursday afternoon as the Port Arthur Police Department swore in 10 new police officers, most of which are 2022 graduates of the Lamar Institute of Technology Regional Police Academy.

“When I look at these guys, I have to stop and smile,” said Lieutenant Michael Fratus. “We have 10 new officers. It usually takes a large amount of food to get this many cops in one place at one time.”

Fratus gave remarks to the new hires following a welcome by Chief Tim Duriso.

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“This is a profession where we’re held to a much higher standard than the general public, regardless of whether you’re on duty or off duty,” he said. “There’s no such thing as off duty when you’re a police officer. You’re going to find that your mental awareness is heightened most of the time, and you probably sat with your backs to the door at a restaurant for the last time.”

Actions, he noted, are a reflection of the department and the city.

“But what’s going to drive you is being a police officer you just can’t turn off,” Fratus said. “Your kid’s ability to get something by you will soon end. Kids, get ready.”

Deputy Chief Jermey Houston read individual biographies.

  • Officer William Bray, 32, lives in Port Arthur. He graduated from high school in California. He previously worked as a mechanic.
  • Officer Benson Brown, 21, lives in Bridge City. He was born in Louisiana and previously worked as a welder.
  • Officer Christopher Garnica, 22, lives in Groves. He previously worked as a small crane operator.
  • Officer Brandon Lavin, 22, was born in California and lives in Beaumont. He previously worked as a paramedic in Port Arthur and Orange.
  • Officer Joseph Marion, 22, lives in Vidor. He previously worked several different jobs, as well as doing mission work.
  • Officer Ashton Morgan, 22, was born in California and lives in Bridge City.
  • Officer Johan Nakao, 21, lives in Port Arthur and graduated from Memorial High School. He previously attended Lamar State College Port Arthur to study criminal justice.
  • Officer Nicholas Payton, 30, is from Stephenville and lives in Silsbee.
  • Officer Sean Square, 28, is from Beaumont. He has an associates degree in process operating from Lamar Institute of Technology and previously worked in refineries and as a correctional officer at the Jefferson County Correctional Facility.
  • Officer Christian Stewart, 27, was born in Tennessee and lives in Port Arthur. He served four years in the U.S. Marine Corp. and previously served as a corrections officer.

Lieutenant Jeremy Lloyd presented the Oath of Office before the new officers received their badges from family members and loved ones.