WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — They’re the cream of the crop—95 California Highway Patrol cadets received their badges and are now officially officers, and will be stationed statewide.
“It’s huge,” said Roberto Valencia. “We’ve been waiting six-and-a-half months already, so it’s been tough.”
They’re the best of the best, because they beat out 22,000 applicants to get to graduation day.
“I think it’s a day that will be remembered for a very long time,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow.
But with duty comes danger.
Just last month, CHP officers Juan Gonzales and Brian Law died after their cruiser overturned on Highway 99 in Fresno County while reporting to the scene of an early-morning accident.
“The danger aspect has always been in the forefront of my mind,” said cadet Robert Mohun.
These new officers understand what they’re getting into.
“The dangers are the reality of the job,” he said. “It’s something we have to deal with everyday as law enforcement officers.”
Their families also understand the dangers.
“I’m OK with it,” said Dani Taylor, a wife of a cadet. “Goes with the job.”
And these cadets say the risks are worth it.
“This is something I wanted to do since I was younger,” said Jeffrey Royal.
“I can’t really think about things that scare me,” said Hannah Wilcott. “I just have to do my job.”
Graduation isn’t the end for these cadets. Ten days from now, they’ll report to field training with a veteran officer for 55 days.