TULSA - Friday the Tulsa Police Department welcomed the 20 new officers it's calling the "next generation" of the department.
It was a ceremony fit for a king as friends, family and fellow officers all waited to witness the recruits become officers and get their badges.
"I looked up to them as role models and they just encouraged me to pursue this career and that's what I'm doing," said Officer Janee Williams.
She was born and raised in Tulsa, so for her today is a dream.
"Every child and every adult needs positive mentors and that's what I have, so I just want to pay it forward," she said.
Jarvis Allen came to Tulsa for school and never left.
"I like to be a influence on other African Americans trying to get into this profession as well," Officer Allen said.
He takes the responsibility of the badge very seriously.
"We serve every part of the community of Tulsa and if we have one missing link, we try to combine everybody, try to get everybody connected and on the same page," he said.
This group is one of the most diverse to cross the stage.
Something the department said it knows is important.
"I think it creates a level of trust. When we look like them then they trust that we're going to be doing things in their best interest," said Major Ryan Perkins with the Tulsa Police Academy.
He's calling today the academy's Super Bowl, with all of the veterans there to welcome them into a life of service.
"Kind of growing up and going through your career when you think of a police officer, you see a police officer, I mean Tulsa Police pops into your head," said Officer Michael Snyder.
And at this Super Bowl they're leaving with the ring they've always wanted.
Williams said for her there are no words to describe finally getting the badge.
This "next generation" class will be some of the first to use the department's new body cameras in the coming weeks, and they'll help train the new officers in the coming years.
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