Hawkins latest to join Baldwin police
With a strong family tradition behind him, James W. Hawkins, who is also a Marine veteran of the war in Iraq, has joined the Baldwin City Police Department as its newest officer.
Hawkins, who lives in Pomona and has spent the last two years in the Franklin County Sheriff's Department as a corrections officer, has always had an interest in law enforcement and thought Baldwin would be a great place to start his career as an officer.
"I like this town," said Hawkins, who joined the force Aug. 7. "It seems like everyone is real friendly."
As for his life-long experience around law enforcement, Hawkins' mother is on the Ottawa Police Department and his dad is a member of the Anderson County Sheriff's Department.
"He comes from a strong police background," said Police Chief Mike McKenna.
Law enforcement is something Hawkins knows.
"It's always kind of interested me," he said. "It's been in my family my whole life, so I know it."
Hawkins knows a lot about the world, too, and has seen it at its worse while serving in the Marines in Iraq. He was in the Marines for four years, which included the stint overseas.
"I spent nine months as an 81-milimeter mortar section leader," he said.
It was quite an experience.
"Yes, it was," said Hawkins.
He got back from Iraq in October of 2003 and out of the Marine in 2004. That's when he went to work in the Franklin County Jail. Within months, he will be attended the Law Enforcement Training Center in Hutchinson.
Hawkins and his wife, Shelley, are expecting their first child in December.