The law enforcement recruits KGUN has been following for five months are officially officers now.

The Southern Arizona Law Enforcement Training Center’s 23-1 Class officially graduated at a ceremony inside the Tucson Convention Center on Thursday.

Behind the Badge, the series:

Behind the Badge: TPD Recruits take on intense training

Behind the Badge: Recruits’ training stresses teamwork, accountability

Behind the Badge: How TPD recruits train for suspects violently resisting arrest

Behind the Badge: Protect and Swerve: TPD recruits get tested behind the wheel

Behind the Badge: Inside firearms training with TPD recruits

Behind the Badge: TPD recruits train for parking lot ambush

Behind the Badge: Tucson Police recruits face active shooter training in an empty hospital

Behind the Badge: How TPD recruits learn to ‘Struggle Well’

After 24 weeks of training, it was an emotional moment for the new officers and their families. This class will send new officers to TPD, University of Arizona Police, Sahuarita Police, Casa Grande Police and Arizona Game and Fish.

You work through a lot of things, you encounter a lot of stress,” new TPD officer Arlene Olguin said, looking back at her time as a recruit. “So I think its just being able fight the doubt that sometimes you have within Whenever I just had a bad day I always had my family and friends to fall back on.”

Its a long 24 weeks, but before that, a lifetime of just wishing for this badge, and then this day, and spending it with the family,” said Jaoquin Martinez-Garcia, a former TPD Community Service Officer with a dream to become a police officer one day.

“Its honestly amazing,” he told KGUN Thursday.

Ive been working at this for a really long time,” said new TPD officer Alexandra Corrales. “Lost a lot of weight to get here physically Sacrificing family time, sacrificing really time with everybody in order to be in this moment right here.

I had the help of my family and my classmates. So that really helped me. Theyre amazing people and they had my back the entire time.

You get to now not worry so much about going to the academy and learning and passing tests and more about making sure youre doing the right thing when youre out there, and doing the job right,” said new TPD officer Nich Flynn.

The Class started with 34 recruits, with 27 making it to graduation. Attrition like that is expected given the length and intensity of training, per TPD. And there could be more to come.

Up next is a 17-week field training period. The new officers will go through an investigation phase, a “sector policing” period that focuses on community issues, and then an “emergency” period responding to issues like shots fired, medical emergencies and car accidents.

So now youre really out there in the streets,” officer Angel Espadas said of field training. “Now youre in a full uniform. Now youre in a police car. Really have that responsibility. Its up to you to make the right decisions.

These new officers are excited for that new challenge.

Im ready,” said Olguin. “Im ready to keep learning.

At 817 sworn officers (including recruits in training) as of early this month, TPD is up 25 from last December, but still short of an ideal staffing level of 900 sworn officers.