Behind the Badge: The Making of a Police Officer, a big milestone

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - After 17 weeks of police academy training at the Southern Arizona Law Enforcement Training Center, 41 officers and deputies received their badge and will now serve across 13 different Southern Arizona agencies.   

KGUN9 gave an inside look at the training, but another side to police work is going out into the community and talking with people to help them solve problems. 

"I think our goal is really to cultivate the spirit of service and that is why most people get into this job," said Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus. "But then it really becomes a shared responsibility on part the police department and the community to cultivate that."

Many officials with TPD say this class is at the tip of the spear when it comes to 21st century policing. 

"No longer is it just the show up and the Joe Friday-type of police work facts," said Tucson Police Captain Joe Puglia. "They have become really almost social workers for some where they will enforce laws every day but they are going to be helpers in the community."

"It is not all about going out and making arrests and doing things like that," said Aaron Boone, a graduating TPD officer. "It is impacting lives, being proactive in the community."

"It is not just about you know driving the fast cars and all that stuff, its about helping people, you know just being there for people and if I can make a difference in somebody's life than that's what makes it worth it," said Heather Tuka, another graduating TPD officer. 

This month marks TPD officer Jon Collamore's 15th year in law enforcement and he says the best part about the job is that every day is different. 

"Every time they hit the streets you never know what is going to come about so it is a different day every single time they go out there and to be able to work with the community on a daily basis and get out there and help people its amazing," he said.

Chief Magnus says after all the hard work at the academy, graduation is a huge milestone.

"You are so excited," he said. "What you have been through and all those hurdles and obstacles that you face but now you think, 'How do I really make that difference?"'

After graduation, the officers and deputies will have to go through weeks of post academy training.  
 

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