Dozens of new officers will soon be patrolling valley roads. Tuesday was graduation day for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s most recent recruits.
According to Metro Police, a total of 40 recruits began the academy on Dec. 6, and on Tuesday, 31 of them were sworn-in as officers. The graduation was held inside the Orleans Hotel showroom.
All of the officers come from diverse backgrounds and eight different states. There was even a recruit from South Korea.
“We were such a great group together,” said Claudia Perez, new LVMPD officer.
Out of the 31 recruits, only two of them were women.
“It feels amazing; it feels great to know that we can do this just us two,” Perez said.
For Perez, being a police officer has been her dream since she was 13 years old.
“You do so much more than protect the community; you can change someone’s life when you meet them,” Perez said.
The new officers ranged from 22 to 42 years old.
“I’m an old man, yea,” said Michael Zadina, New LVMPD officer.
But for Michael Zadina, it was time for a change, so he became an officer.
“I was an operations manager at the federal courts for 23 years,” Zadina said. “I guess instead of buying a Corvette as a midlife crisis, I started a new career.”
Getting to this point was far from easy for the recruits. Often, they had to remind themselves why they started.
“My family, my kids,” Perez said.
“I’m a single father, ages 3 and 5,” Zadina said. “I look at them, and I wanna set a good example for them.
Now six months later, as they stood on the stage as new officers, it was their newly-pinned badges that reminded them of their purpose.
“You can do anything you want; anything you put your heart to, anything is possible, ” proclaimed Perez.