PHOENIX — The first new class of recruits to join the Phoenix Police Department since 2008 graduated from Arizona Law Enforcement class 493 Friday.
They will be followed by a new graduating class each month until January, according to a Phoenix police spokesman.
The recruits were sworn in by a judge at the Phoenix Convention Center with hundreds of their family members in attendance.
“I feel pretty good. It’s exciting, I got to graduate,” said officer Mitchell Crane, one of the 40 new cadets who received their badge from new Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams.
“It’s a really humbling experience and I’m really honored to wear it,” Crane said.
He added that the hardest part of the 20 weeks of training wasn’t the grueling physical training or dealing with weapons.
“For me probably more the academic part of the academy was harder,” he said. “I really had to buckle down [and] study.”
Crane said his motivation came from the environment he was raised in.
“Growing up seeing my dad throughout the years,” he said. “And just the discipline and honor of being a police officer is what helped me make that choice.”
His dad is 27-year veteran officer Ken Crane, who is also president of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association.
“Lot of mixed emotions,” said Ken Crane. “Extremely proud when one of your own follows you into your career field.”
But also a little trepidation, he added, because it’s a dangerous career field. It’s probably gotten more so over the last few years, he said.
“But when you have somebody that really has the passion in their heart to want to do something like this,” he said. “And they want to step up to the plate and serve, it’s kind of heartening to see the next generation coming forward.”
Mitchell Crane will now go through a few weeks of training with the Phoenix police, which is more detailed to that department.