EVART — Life will be slowing down a bit for Patrick McClure as he transitions from a police officer in Metro Detroit to one in Evart.

Evart Police Department Chief Kendra Backing and Sergeant John Beam welcomed the new recruit on June 8 as he was officially sworn in. McClure is the third officer on the force, following Lorne Juday's move to the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety. The public safety which millage passed in November also helped the department receive enough funds for his position.

McClure said he is looking forward to being a part of a community-oriented department, interacting with children in schools and residents in the area to build a friendly, positive rapport.

"The department is very involved in the community and that's one of the things I like doing," McClure said. "It's definitely a learning experience and it'll take time to learn how this department runs, but it'll be a nice change of pace."

McClure is originally from Wayne and has experience working as an officer for the Lathrop Village Police Department and Huron-Clinton Metroparks. However, Evart is familiar territory for him, he said, as he visits the city often when he vacations with his girlfriend. Once he saw the open position on the EPD, he jumped at the chance to apply.

"We always liked this area and after I applied everything just worked out," McClure added.

Being a police officer was not necessarily his life goal, but a walk of life he was accustomed with throughout the years.

"There was never one big event," McClure said. "We had a family friend who was an officer for the city of Wayne and introduced me to the career. He'd talk to me about what he did at the schools, showed me the patrol car and he did the DARE program."

If he hadn't become an officer of the law, he believes he would have chosen a similar career field such as an EMS employee, as he enjoys assisting the public with health and safety matters.

McClure's employment in the department will help the officers fill in coverage gaps within the community and also help provide assistance with local events, said Backing.

"It's an absolute pleasure to have him on board," Backing added. "I think he'll be a good fit for our team. He's already being introduced to the community, courts and central dispatch."