It's been a long time coming and after getting their hands dirty through tough training, young officers of the law finally have their diplomas. Our Katie Husband was at the Elmira Police Academy's graduation ceremony to introduce us to the new officers and tell us what they had to do to achieve their dreams.
ELMIRA, N.Y. -- After months of hard training and years of big dreaming, these cadets have made it to graduation.
"I've been trying to get to this point for many years now through college and other forms of training and it's unbelievable that I'm actually here finally," said Matthew McGrain, Elmira Police Department.
"It's actually been a long anticipated wait throughout my whole life, this was kind of my goal since I was a little kid and going through college and getting to this point is a very big step in my life," Brandon Scott, Steuben County Sheriff.
Some thought this day would never come, especially after the four grueling months of training. But, with all that hard work out of the way, they're taking so much experience to the streets.
"PT, weapons training, being sprayed, mentally the unexpectedness of it, all of a sudden you have to find out you're staying three more hours or someone's mad at you and you're being punished for it," said McGrain.
Now with their diplomas in hand, they're looking to put hard work to good use.
"First of all get my experience under my belt, and from there hopefully start working up the ranks if possible and make a career out of this," said Scott.
Which is what the academy prepares them to do.
"We look to turn out good, proactive police officers who are to an extent, nosey. If they see something in their community that doesn't look right or requires further investigation they're going to have the initiative and they're going to look into that," said Sgt. John Dunham, Elmira Police Department.
The cadets now have to perform 160 hours of field training to be on their own.
The twelve graduates were from various Southern Tier law enforcement agencies. Four officers will stay locally with the Elmira Police Department.