SAN ANTONIO - Dozens of former cadets are now proud to call themselves officers in the San Antonio Police Department.
The rookies graduated from the police academy Friday in front of friends, family and supporters of law enforcement.
John Rodriguez Jr. walked across the stage into a career in law enforcement, but not long ago he was in high school and in Post 399, the same as four San Antonio Police Explorers attending the graduation ceremony.
Mack Reeves, 16, says he hopes to wear the same uniform someday soon. His plan is to get an associates degree, and then go to the academy.
"They all started somewhere, and, I mean, look where they are now. I mean, it's just, it's just really cool to see them," said Reeves.
Having now taken the oath, the 35 police officers and an arson investigator will now serve and protect us. It's no small task.
"The things that police officers do every single day often times (go) unnoticed," said SAPD Chief William McManus, "Every single call that is answered, could possibly be a life threatening call, for the officer, or for the person, for the persons who are calling."
For 32 weeks, the cadets learned the law, how to shoot and what to do in a robbery or traffic stop. SAPD says the class began with 51 cadets this past summer, but after 7 1/2 months, more than a dozen had dropped out.
The class voted Martin Fahey as orator. He will serve San Antonio after serving Dublin, Ireland as an officer for 13 years.
Fahey's brothers in blue back home flew across the pond to attend the ceremony, and, just in time for St. Patrick's Day Saturday.
"We'll have a good time," said Officer Brendan Hogan, who is still an officer in Dublin.
"We'll test out the Guinness for you while we're here," said Officer Warren O'Sullivan, who also is on the Dublin force.
"I didn't know about it. It was a surprise," said Fahey, "Friends like that it's just, you can't put it into words, you know."
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