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A police officer less than a year out of the academy was recently promoted to sergeant in the Springfield City Police Department.
Sgt. A.J. Lewis, a Bardstown native, joined the department in July of 2011. He finished the academy in April of 2012.
“We had a need for leadership on the night shift and A.J. stepped up and took initiative to be a leader,” Springfield City Police Chief Jim Smith said. “He also was forced, due to manpower issues, to handle several high risk calls on his own, and proved to be very capable at handling these tense situations.”
Lewis comes from a family in law enforcement, as his father, Major Ray Lewis, is the assistant chief in Bardstown’s police department.
During the Oct. 9 city council meeting, Mayor Dr. John Cecconi joked that Lewis reached sergeant faster than his father.
A.J. confirmed that he did actually rise in the ranks faster than his father, but he wasn’t sure by how much.
Credit for his success comes from learning from his dad, he said.
“I took his method of talking to people with respect and doing the job the best way I can,” A.J. said. “Following in his footsteps has helped out a lot.”
Lewis said he never really expected the promotion so soon.
“He also just has natural leadership abilities and can calm most people down when he arrives on scene,” Smith said. He also called Lewis a ‘one-man youth crime deterrent’ during the council meeting.