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Loved Ones Cheer on CHP Cadets as They Complete Time-Honored Run to Capitol

SACRAMENTO -- You can hear the chants from more than 100 cadets as they leave the CHP Academy, and along the way, the cheers from friends and family like mom Deborah Baker and fiance Heather Meyer.

Both were on hand to support CHP Cadet Scott Baker.

"We have walked this journey with him," Deborah Baker said.

The two were up bright and early, and it wasn't hard to spot them.

Their signs read "Run Scottie Run" but also on display, a photo of Jeffery Rhea, a CHP officer who died several years ago in a scuba accident.

"He had mentored my son and told him about CHP and a career in CHP and my son really did this in honor and memory of Jeff," Deborah Baker said.

Three weeks ago, two CHP officers were shot in Sacramento during an investigation at the Ramada Inn on Auburn Boulevard.

Sacramento County Sheriff's Deputy Bob French was killed.

The tragedy still weighs heavily on the family.

"As a mom, you want your kids safe. Sometimes I think, 'why can't my kids be bankers or something?' ... But he's chosen this -- to protect and serve is important to him," Deborah Baker said.

While this was a joyous moment for families to come and support their loved ones on the five-mile run, it was also a moment for the cadets to take a moment, stop and remember what this run is all about.

After making their way through Capitol Mall, the cadets stopped for a prayer at the California Peace Officers Memorial -- a moment to remember the fallen.

"It was just eye opening, all the people before us and all the people that'll come after us, and everything that officers do for the communities they work in to keep everyone safe," said CHP Cadet Scott Baker.

Scott and the rest of the cadets eventually made their way to the Capitol steps. After 28 weeks of training, the cadets finished with some final push ups.

And then came the pictures and hugs from loved ones -- all to celebrate a new beginning.

"I'm ready to get out there and serve the people of California," Scott Baker said.