ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The Abilene Police Department has made it a goal to have a more diverse police force, and they are one step closer after celebrating its 58th academy graduation.
“I’m ready, I’m ready to hit the streets,” said Officer Eric Massey.
“I just want to make an impact in my community,” said Officer Nicholas Silva.
For the first time, the minority cadets are the majority of graduates.
“There’s a lot of things going on in this world and I felt like I could make a difference, you know, help people out and do a good job at it,” said Massey.
APD says they’ve gotten feedback from the community in recent years hoping the police force would be more representative of the diverse population in Abilene, of which more than 40% are classified as minorities.
“I think that’s what you need to police and have a good dynamic with the community, a variety of different people,” said Massey.
Massey says he is happy to represent people who look like him, and hopes to be a role model for his daughter, who got to pin his badge on him during Thursday’s ceremony.
“It makes me proud for her to see me doing something good and being a positive role model for her,” said Massey.
Chief Marcus Dudley says this is an exciting celebration for him as well.
“This is my first opportunity to be wearing the uniform of the Abilene Police Department, my police department, and I chose to wait for this moment when these officers would graduate to be able to wear the uniform for the first time because we started on the same day,” said Dudley.
Chief Dudley hopes that they will always remember how they are feeling now.
“Remember that desire today to want to be a police officer and never let that light go out,” said Dudley.