STOCKTON -- Eighteen Delta College Police Academy graduates lined up in their bright blues, ready for their new job Monday with the Stockton Police Department.
"Honored, honestly. Really excited and really honored that I get to be a part of this team,” Officer Sonora Powell, a new officer said.
But for some of their families, mixed in with the excitement is concern. Especially for Officer Sergio Padilla-Gonzalez’s son, 10-year-old Omar Garcia.
"Kind of scared that he might get hurt,” Garcia said, as he got a little teary-eyed while he spoke with FOX40.
While he’s happy for his dad, now an officer, at such a young age he’s also seen the devastation with recent shootings in Baton Rouge and Dallas that have claimed the lives of eight officers.
His parents have talked to their boys about the dangers that come with the job of a police officer and have also discussed the positive steps within the department.
"The thing that I advised him (my husband) was to always treat people with integrity no matter what their color, their age or gender,” Leslie Garcia, wife of Officer Padilla-Gonzalez said.
Because, for these new recruits, serving the citizens of Stockton is about striving for positive change, "Seeing poverty stricken neighborhoods and just wanting to be a part of change and wanting to help out,” Officer John Strawder said.
"I know it gives us all a chance to show that there are good police officers out there,” Officer Allison Duffy told FOX40.
Despite the risks, Officer Nathan Thalen explained, "I think that with positive policing and community policing we can slowly make the change."
The new officers will be showing up for their first shifts soon and will be assigned to a field training officer.