NORTH PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) --Friday was a big day for 30 new recruits with the Philadelphia Police Department. They spent nearly nine months training at the Police Academy, and have finally graduated.
It comes at a time when police officers face more and more challenges.
Over now is that intense period of learning the dos and don'ts of police work, the rules and the regulations, the philosophy, marksmanship, and crisis resolution - all the elements every good cop needs to thrive and survive on this big city's mean streets.
The grads marched into Temple University's Performing Arts Center Friday morning for their official swearing in. Soon they will be hitting the streets.
Proud family members were beaming in every direction as Police Commissioner Richard Ross sounded the charge and the mission ahead, full of challenges and peril.
Commissioner Ross told the recruits, "Please understand something. That oath gives us unique position in society. The constitution gives you the power and the authority to enforce laws. It does not make us any better than anybody else."
The challenges and dangers facing the police officers seems steeper than ever.
The recent late night attack on Officer Jesse Hartnett remains fresh in the minds of the members of the Police Department and the community.
The valedictorian of class 374 made Officer Hartnett's survival and attempt to apprehend the suspect, despite multiple serious wounds, a centerpiece of her address.
Speaking to her class and others in attendance, Officer Michelle Arrigo said, "It was his willpower and his training that helped him to survive such a harrowing incident. It is important to recognize that we too have been properly trained for the unpredictable nature of our profession."
These young officers go on duty on Monday, and will try to put everything they've learned into effect.