Christine Lee, NBC 5 Grand Prairie Reporter
The Grand Prairie Police Department graduates its first class of in-house police academy recruits on Friday.
Grand Prairie is graduating its first class of police academy recruits on Friday.
The city's police department began operating a police academy for the first time last summer. After 28 weeks of intense training, 14 recruits have made the cut.
"I can't believe it," recruit Takesha Dye said. "It just seems like yesterday we started our first week of training, running, and now we're here at graduation. ... It's been a long seven months, but definitely worthwhile; a lot of training, effective training."
Sgt. Brad Leonard led the recruits on Thursday while they practiced marching in sync with each other.
"This is the first time we have the recruits the whole time and we can kind of teach them the Texas law, the Texas penal codes, but we can also indoctrinate them to the city of Grand Prairie and our city's needs," he said.
The city will also add its first Asian officer to its law enforcement team. Thai Nguyen said he takes pride in his Vietnamese background as well as the fact that he will become the first police officer in his family.
"My mom actually came down here from Massachusetts [and] surprised me, and she is actually going to be here at my graduation and the rest of my family as well," he said.
Nguyen said he hoped to inspire more Asian-Americans to consider law enforcement as a career choice.
"We're looking forward to more Asian officers to join our department so we can help the community, because we have a growing Asian population in the city of Grand Prairie," he said.
Graduation will begin at 10 a.m. at the Ruthe Jackson Center.