Wilson sworn in at Monday's city council meeting

RPD’s new officer, Justin Wilson, is sworn in by Rensselaer City Council clerk/treasurer Freida Bretzinger on Monday night.

RENSSELAER — Justin Wilson is ready to give back to the community that helped raise him.

At Monday’s Rensselaer City Council meeting, Wilson, 23, was sworn in as a police officer, giving Rensselaer Police Chief Matt Anderson a full roster of 11.

“He interviewed very well,” Anderson said of Wilson. “It’s always nice to get good candidates locally.”

Wilson was selected over 20-plus candidates, many of whom impressed Anderson and his selection board.

“We normally don’t see that many people show up,” he said. “We had quite a few good candidates.”

Wilson, the son of Karen Wilson and the late Darrell Wilson, is a 2015 graduate of Rensselaer Central High School. He graduated from Purdue University with a degree in law and society in 2018.

“When I was 18, I decided what I wanted to do and that’s help people,” Wilson said. “I made it my goal to follow through with that in college and I planned my life around that.”

Wilson was scheduled to begin working toward becoming an officer as early as Tuesday morning. He will undergo 40 hours of pre-basic training to give him arrest powers before following a veteran officer for 12 weeks to learn the policies associated with becoming an officer, Anderson said.

Then there’s 16 weeks of training at the police academy in Plainfield next fall.

“People may not realize, it’s almost a full year before you become fully trained and can work on your own,” Anderson said.

Wilson said he’s ready to dive into all matters of police training.

“It’s definitely a tough process, especially physically when they put you through training,” Wilson said. “But it’s all worth it.”

Anderson added that Mason Walker, who was hired as the department’s 10th officer in the summer, recently traveled to Plainfield to get in his 16 weeks of training.