WESTPORT — Joy and excitement filled the room Thursday afternoon as three new officers were sworn in to the Westport Police Department.

“Swearing-in ceremonies are some of the happiest times when it comes to police departments,” Westport Police Chief Foti Koskinas said at police headquarters. “I couldn’t be more excited with today swearing in these three new officers.”

In attendance for the ceremony included First Selectman Jim Marpe, Westport Fire Chief Robert Yost, and many members of the community.

The three officers — Shawn Booth, Jamar Edwards and Hon Luong — all have prior police experience. Booth, 30, came from the New Haven Police Department and earned a meritorious service award from his department in 2016.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Booth said of joining the department. “It’s going to be a little change from New Haven, but I’m going to take what I’ve learned there and apply it here.”

Booth said he joined the department due to the quality of people in the town and the department’s positive reputation.

“It just seemed like an awesome place to work,” he said.

Edwards, 30, joins Westport from the Bridgeport Police Department and said he always saw Westport as a great town while growing up in Connecticut. In January, he received a meritorious service award for “Excellent Arrest” at his former department’s annual awards ceremony.

“I’m excited this is a very prestigious department to work,” Edwards said. “I’m looking forward to meeting people in the community and building relationships with my co-workers, as well as residents in Westport.”

For Luong, a former West Haven police officer, joining the department represents an exciting new opportunity. The 25-year-old previously interned with the Stratford Police Department before being hired in West Haven.

“I’m looking forward to starting immediately,” Luong said. “Everyone I’ve met so far has been great.”

Koskinas noted it’s more important than ever for the community and police department to continue working together, especially in today’s environment. Since the start of the year, 27 police officers have been killed in the country and there have been over 200 mass shootings, he said.

“That’s all becoming way too common,” Koskinas said. “We all need to work together to avoid these incidents.”

In such a time, Koskinas said he was proud of the three new officers stepping up.

“It is so important to recognize these three new guys stepping up today,” he said. “There’s no doubt in my mind these three guys would be employed anywhere. Not just police departments, any other profession they chose. I’m very proud they came to the Westport Police Department.”

dj.simmons@hearstmediact.com