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On Thursday, April 14, 2022, 30 men and women from the CMPD 190th Recruit Class walked across the stage, swore an oath, and became members of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. These new police officers will join a department made up of a rich heritage of protecting and serving the Charlotte community. CMPD is extremely proud of these 30 individuals, and we are excited to see all that they will bring to the department.

Officers Joseph Tierney, Kristen Caldwell, Ethan Morrison, and Alvaro Fernandez graciously took the time to share a little bit about themselves. Check out the article below to learn what motivates them, and what they are looking forward to in their new roles.

Joseph Tierney

Hometown: Bethpage, New York

College/Education/Trade: Marist College

Bachelor’s degree: Psychology

Master’s degree: Integrated Marketing Communications

Assigned Division: Independence

What is your why? What has driven you to choose a career in law enforcement?
I’ve always had intentions of getting involved in civil service since I was young. My father was a Lieutenant in the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) and served a rewarding 33-year career before retiring in 2020. As I grew older, I started understanding how he makes a difference in multiple people’s lives every day. When I was in college, I saw a few pictures of my dad helping at ground zero on Sept. 11, 2001, after the terrorist attacks. My father is my motivation on why I chose a career in law enforcement. The thought of him putting himself through debris, chaos, and other issues to search for people that he didn’t even know motivates me to join a career of service. I want to make a difference in my community as my father did. It seems like many people have no intentions of becoming a police officer, however, I am dedicated to this career and am excited to learn.

Beginning your career here at CMPD, what about your new job are you looking forward to the most?
I am looking forward to taking it all in and learning from those who are veterans on this job. I am also looking forward to serving to the best of my ability, to create a bond with this community. Lastly, I want to work my hardest to honor those who have done this job before me.

Any special awards/recognitions?

  • 3x Division 1 Lacrosse Captain at Marist College
  • 2021 Scholar-All American

Any previous special connection with law enforcement? (family, friends, or mentors)
My three cousins are all in the New York City Police Department (NYPD): Timmy Tierney is a sergeant, Billy Tierney is a detective, and Jennifer Tierney is on patrol. My uncle Tim Tierney is a retired NYPD Sergeant. My uncle John Mckenna is retired from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and is now working with Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department

A little-known fun fact about yourself:
I love to be active and work out or play sports. I enjoy golfing in my free time and being around friends.

Anything else you’d like to share:
My family will always be my motivating factor. Making them proud is very important to me. I am excited to join an amazing department and dedicate myself to doing my best. I am truly excited to create a brother and sisterhood with members of the CMPD family.

Kristen Caldwell

Hometown: Lincolnton, North Carolina

College/Education/Trade: North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

Assigned Division: Providence

What is your why? What has driven you to choose a career in law enforcement?
The reason I chose law enforcement was to help people. My great-grandmother taught me several principles that were engraved in me to help those in need. I truly have a passion for helping people, I know this occupation is my calling and one thing I have always said was, “I didn’t choose law enforcement, law enforcement chose me.” There have been many challenges that I have overcome, and I know if it wasn’t for me remembering my why I would have not come this far. I believe my “why” serves a purpose and it is what drives me to accomplish my goals. Although, I know we live in a world where police officers are not liked I want to serve this community and build relationships with transparency. I want to be able to see what the community sees and assist in making a difference along with the youth and young adults. Lastly, I just want to be able to make a positive impact on someone’s life and be the best officer I can be while I serve and protect my community.

Beginning your career here at CMPD, what about your new job are you looking forward to the most?
I am looking forward to building relationships throughout the community and being able to bring transparency so that I can change the perception of policing. Also, I am excited about being a part of the CMPD family and creating long-lasting relationships.

Any special awards/recognitions?
I graduated from college Summa Cum Laude with a 3.91 GPA. I am a part of the Alpha Phi Sigma Criminal Justice Honor Society, Golden Key Honor Society, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

Any previous special connection with law enforcement? (Family, friends, or mentor)
I remember when I was at a Criminal Justice career fair at my college, and I met Lt. Keith Caviness as he was recruiting for the CMPD. When we talked about my interest in law enforcement I was informed about this department and how great it was. I received his information and I have kept in contact with him since that day. He has helped me throughout my whole journey with CMPD. After being disqualified from the Internship class 01, I was very disappointed in myself and I felt like I had worked so hard to gain that internship position, but the decisions I chose to do in the past kept me from achieving that goal. Lt. Caviness reassured me that everything was going to be okay and that there are many sacrifices within this job. I remember he sent me a motivational video called “Good” by Jocko, and it has helped me keep pushing throughout the entire process. The following year, I was an intern in the Internship class 02 and that’s when I knew I could overcome any challenges thrown at me. Lastly, he helped me realize that everyone fails in life, but it is how you take that failure and turn it into motivation to continue moving forward.

A little-known fun fact about yourself:
I am the youngest of four siblings, and I am left-handed. When I was a kid, I wanted to become a dermatologist and a storm chaser.

Anything else you’d like to share:
Lastly, I would like to share that if you have a goal in life, you can do anything you put your mind to. Although things are never given to you and you must earn them, you should always remember to focus on the now and not dwell on the past. If you fail in something, remember to learn from it, and then you’ll know what to do so you will not make the same mistake the next time. To conclude, always find the positive in a negative situation.

Ethan Morrison

Hometown: Stockbridge, Georgia

College/Education/Trade: Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Limestone University

Assigned Division: Steele Creek

What is your why? What has driven you to choose a career in law enforcement?
My parents have a big part of my why, with them both being in the military, and my dad retiring at command as Sgt. Major. I grew up with teachings of strong morals and ethics, I believe trust between the community and law enforcement is necessary. I want to help build the community’s perception of police officers further while protecting and serving citizens.

Beginning your career here at CMPD, what about your new job are you looking forward to the most?
I am very excited to start learning and getting experience from my daily encounters, the reason being that officers are always learning from training and experience. Being able to work on improving myself and finding out what path I am interested in through firsthand experience is exciting.

Any special awards/recognitions?
I started running track as a junior in high school. The reason why I started so late, is that I played basketball most of my childhood until I broke my ankle in tenth grade. While going through rehab for my ankle, I started running a lot more often. I tried out for the track team and by the next year, I broke two school records and got several track and field scholarship offers. After graduating from Limestone University, I was then a 4x All American in the 400-meter dash.

Any previous special connection with law enforcement? (Family, friends, or mentor)
I have several immediate family members that are in the military, but I am the first-generation law enforcement officer in my family.

A little-known fun fact about yourself:
I can solve a Rubik’s Cube in under a minute and a half. I discovered this skill during the pandemic. Also, I have a workhorse personality, and I like to stay busy.

Anything else you’d like to share?
I learned that finding balance outside of policing is of extreme importance in maintaining a positive mindset at work. I plan on maintaining my hobbies outside of work which consist of roller skating, basketball, and playing the guitar.

Alvaro Fernandez Jr.

Hometown: Brooklyn, New York

Assigned Division: North

What is your why? What has driven you to choose a career in law enforcement?
My why sounds simple but to me, it’s not. My why consists of wanting to help people and at the same time build up the community. I want to be able to go around my community and be the person they trust, the department they can trust. I want to impact people’s lives the way several officers have impacted me. My reason is to also make people feel safe. To assist in creating a relationship where talking to the police is not a burden. A situation can change just by just having a conversation with an individual. I want the department to gain that trust we once had with the community.

Beginning your career here at CMPD, what about your new job are you looking forward to the most?
I am looking forward to getting to know my community better, and what the community needs. Meeting new people and building relationships with my colleagues.

Any previous special connection with law enforcement? (family, friends, or mentor)
I know a few law enforcement officers, but I would say that my SRO at West Mecklenburg High School, Officer Hughes really stands out. He helped me get through some tough times in high school. I joined the DARE program through a friend and Officer Hughes was a part of that program and we were able to talk at length about his career.

A little-known fun fact about yourself:
I was in a church band for about six years, playing the drums. I love spending time with friends and family, it’s one of the most important things to me.

Anything else you’d like to share:
The academy has changed me into a better and wiser individual. The one word that stuck with me during my time at the academy is integrity. During my second month at the academy, I had to do a presentation on integrity and I’m proud to say that I have lived by that word.

For more information on Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s career opportunities, click here.