PHOTOS & REACTION — Port Arthur Police Department new hires, promotions celebrated

Published 6:25 am Monday, December 11, 2023

Heartfelt moments, pride, a few tears and laughter mingled in with the Port Arthur Police Department’s Recognition and Promotion Ceremony.

The ceremony, held Friday afternoon in Port Arthur City Council chambers, was filled with friends, family and fellow law enforcement to support the three new hires and seven promoted officers.

Sergeant Tyre Thomas became emotional as he read newly promoted Lieutenant Ahmaal Bodden’s bio. He read the list of Bodden’s accomplishments, which included field training officer, Street Crimes Unit, Community Response Unit, Hostage Negotiation leader, terrorism task force, Major Crimes Unit supervisor, certification as master peace officer and nine commendations.

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Thomas then asked those with the Bodden family to raise their hands and more than a row of people lifted their hands.

The two officers have known each other for years, and Thomas became choked up and stopped speaking and gave Bodden a hug.

Newly pinned Lieutenant Shelby Harper is only the second female in the department to reach this rank.

Harper said she has been an officer for 10 years and her goal when she began was to reach the rank of lieutenant.

When asked what’s next, she said, “I guess I’ll see where the career goes.”

Harper became an officer to serve the community she grew up in and is glad to still be here, she said.

Newly promoted Deputy Chief Lam Nguyen said he has always wanted to be a police officer.

“I think it’s the best way to give back,” Nguyen said. “My family has always been in service of some sort.”

When asked if he saw himself becoming deputy chief, he said not all — “just one step at a time.”

Port Arthur Mayor Thurman Bartie expressed appreciation for the officers and the department.

“Just know Chief (Tim Duriso), your group and each of you that are here and all others who are in law enforcement here in this city, we appreciate you. We thank you for being here today,” Bartie said.

PAPD Chief Tim Duriso called the officers the best employees in the State of Texas and thanked them for their service.

Those honored included, new hires Cadet Caleb Malveaux, Cadet Omar Lopez and Forensic Technician Camrynne Rebert.

Officers being prompted included: Deputy Chief Ryan Byers, Deputy Chief Lam Nguyen, Lt. Shelby Harper, Lt. Ahmaal Bodden, Sgt. Calvin Walker, Sgt. Timberly Battle and Sgt. Trevor Singleton.