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Claremont native named police officer of the year

A nine-year Claremont Police Department veteran has just been named the department’s officer of the year.

Officer Matt Hamill, who works in the department’s traffic division, received the award on December 17 after a vote among his peers at the station.

“It was a big surprise and it was awesome,” Officer Hamill, a Claremont native, said. “It’s something that means a lot to me.”

Officer Hamill first joined the department nine years ago, first as a jailer and then as an officer after completing his training at the police academy. Mr. Hamill continues a long legacy of law enforcement—his father was a Pomona police officer for 29 years before he retired.

In fact, it was his father who first tipped-off Officer Hamill to the jailer job in Claremont.

“I loved working in the jail but I always wanted to be a police officer,” Officer Hamill said.

He went through police training through the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Academy, graduating in 2008. He was officially assigned to patrol in the Claremont Police Department that same year.

Officer Hamill has had quite a year in 2015. Most notably, he was assigned to be a field training officer, which means he’ll be the officer who will train new recruits. He’ll have his work cut out for him in 2016; the Claremont City Council approved the hiring of a new police officer at the November 24 council meeting.

Officer Hamill rode his motorcycle in the Fourth of July parade and in the Special Olympics torch run parade. He also conducted bicycle safety presentations at Claremont elementary schools throughout the year.

Officer Hamill has been a Claremont local all his life, attending Mountain View Elementary, El Roble Intermediate and Claremont High School. He says this familiarity helps him in his day-to-day work.

“It’s always cool to serve the community where you grew up,” he said, adding he hopes to have a long career with the Claremont Police Department.

—Matthew Bramlett

news@claremont-courier.com