ORLANDO, Fla. - The Orlando Police Department's newest officers are officially hitting the streets and getting to know the people they'll be serving.
"I feel awesome. I feel great," said new Officer Anderson Guerrier.
Fourteen men and one woman were sworn in Wednesday as the third recruiting Class of 2021.
On Friday morning, they were part of a group meeting community members in the area they will now serve.
"It so important to get to know the people that are in your community. How am I going to go to a community and try to solve a problem if I don’t even know what going on?" said Officer Nikole Terenzi.
She says a rough childhood motivated her to join the force.
"In my personal life, I experienced a lot of domestic violence, alcohol abuse, those kinds of things. DCF [Department of Children and Families] was always present. Law enforcement was always at the house, so I knew it was a calling."
Others say they grew up in places where there was a divide between police and the community. They want to bridge the gap.
"We’re human. My heart beats just like everybody else hearts beat, so you should speak to people, shake hands," Officer Guerrier said.
Out of thousands of candidates, this latest group was selected after they passed difficult training to make the cut.
As the only woman in the group, Terenzi says she wants to be an inspiration too.
"I knew that going into a mostly male-dominated profession that I would have to try harder and prove that I can do this. So, here I am," she said.
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