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Milton welcomes three new faces to police department

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The city of Milton got a little safer last week, as three new hires for the police department were sworn at the April 6 city council meeting.

“I feel honored to work for a city that attracts the very best people in the business. I know that they will compliment the dedicated servicemen and women that the Milton Police Department already has,” Chief Tony Hernandez said.

The three new hires all have exceptional backgrounds, which is nothing new for the Milton Police Department.

“These new officers represent the quality of service the citizens of Milton have grown to expect from our police department and continues with these new additions. We wholeheartedly support the growth of our department and welcome these new faces,” Mayor Debra Perry said.

One of these new faces is Sergeant Tetsujiro Takiguchi, a worldwide traveler who has decided to call Milton his home. A U.S. Army veteran and former investment banker, Takiguchi got his start in the policing field when a wager was made between him and his co-workers at the time to see who could get hired as a police officer. Takiguchi won, being hired eight weeks later as a deputy sheriff recruit for Contra Costa County in California. He later served in the police department of Richmond, Virginia, annually ranked as one of the top 10 most dangerous cities in America. When his father in law became ill, Takiguchi moved his family to the Seattle-Tacoma area and became a reserve officer in Milton after reading about the city in the Seattle Times. He served for 10 months before being sworn in as an officer at the April 6 meeting.

Also sworn in at the meeting was Officer Ben Griffin, who comes to the force after a career in the Army Infantry and physical education. Griffin is a southern boy, raised in Texas where he competed in several high school sports including football, soccer and track. Griffin took his football skills to both the University of Kansas and Carson Newman University in Tennessee, where he studied psychology.

Griffin then joined the Army Infantry, learning valuable leadership skills for three years before moving to Washington State, where he met his wife Michelle. Two years ago Griffin was hired by the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department as a deputy, completed the Washington State Basic Law Enforcement Academy and has now been hired by the Milton Police department as a Lateral Officer.

The final new hire sworn in was Police Clerk Darlene Deyo, a Washington native. Born and raised in Tacoma, Deyo attended Lincoln High School before becoming interested in the law enforcement field. She was hired as a warrants clerk in Rapid Springs, S.D. and soon became a reserve officer for the city, where she met her husband. She eventually moved back to Washington, where she was a police support officer and crime scene investigator with the Federal Way Police Department.

“Working for the City of Milton is great way to continue the journey,” Deyo said. “I really enjoy Milton, its citizens and the people I am blessed to work with.”