Dozens of local students graduated from college on Saturday and 17 Abilene Police Department cadets finally became officers.
Police Chief Stan Standridge and Mayor Norm Archibald congratulated the the new officers as they walked the stage at Abilene Christian University.
The officers are a part of a group called Class 51 and they’ve been working since June to walk across the stage to have their badges pinned on.
“The City of Abilene is where we live, we don't live somewhere else, we live in the community and so we depend on the police to keep things peaceful, to keep it safe,” new officer Andrew Mason said.
Officer Mason used to work in a church and said being a police officer is a new way for him to serve his community.
“I have a ministry background and thought that was where I wanted to go and I grew up and my parents always taught me to serve others and treat others with respect,” Officer Mason said. “So service is at the heart of really how I saw my life going.”
His wife said even though she’s a little nervous about her husband’s safety in the future, she is very proud of her husband.
“I'm also really proud that he gets the opportunity to protect others, I think that's a ministry and that's his mission,” Ramie Mason said. “I think that's what he's called to do.”
The new graduates aren’t done yet; they still have 15 more weeks of on-the-job training.