The Dallas Police Department’s latest academy recruit class graduated Friday and became officers. Chief Eddie Garcia gave badges to 16 officers.
“This job isn’t easy,” he told the new officers. “It’s never been easy, and it will never be easy.”
Garcia told the new officers they would meet “incredible people out on patrol, but as police officers, you will also encounter the worst kind.”
“Remember to treat everyone professionally, not because they’re professional but because you are professional,” he said. “Remember every conversation you have with a resident is an important connection, especially with our youth.”
Garcia told the group each of those conversations while wearing their uniform “is a commercial for our beloved profession.”
Garcia also told the officers to ensure they take time for themselves, saying they need to spend time with friends and family.
“This career is difficult both mentally and physically,” he said. “Your loved ones play a critical role in your well-being.”
“We all are preparing to go out on the streets,” Ofc. Brooke Cunningham said. “They really prep you for it, and it’s great.”
Cunningham moved to Dallas from Michigan. The academy includes 1,400 hours of instruction.
“It feels amazing. This is what we all worked hard for,” she said. “This is what we pushed through, blood, sweat, tears, all of it. It’s the moment you really want to reach.”
Garcia said another officer was from California.
“You’re going to love Texas a lot better,” he said to him.
Many of the new officers were from North Texas. One is the son of a Dallas police officer who died in the line of duty.
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