Police Academy Graduates 23 - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/01/06

Police Academy Graduates 23

         The graduation of the newest class at the East Texas Police Academy in Kilgore included several east Texas military veterans.    As the 251st East Texas Police Academy graduated today in Kilgore, a number of those crossing the stage, are offering their service, for the second time. Nine of the twenty three graduates are military veterans.

        James Bray retired from the marines after serving from Somalia to Afghanistan to Iraq. He now joins the Longview Police Department.

        "I want to come home and serve my community, it's where my family lives it's been good to my family I want to give back to that" Bray says.     

     Many say they see this job as an opportunity, being on the front lines in the battle against domestic terrorist threats. Jerry Sullivan served with U-S army ground forces in Iraq, helping Iraqi civilians. He sees his new duties with the Kilgore P.D. As very similar.    

    "It's still the same as what we were doing for those people, for our own people were doing the same thing for them , protecting them" Sullivan says.

          Ronnica Blake is anxious to serve in her home town of Paris, after serving in the U.S. Navy.    

      "Because I want to serve in my community I want to change things" she says.  

      Some, like Chad Hilton of Abilene ,who worked with air force k-9's in Iraq, want to continue skills from the military.  

      "Put some of my skills to use, especially with k-9's" says Hilton.  

      The candidates completed a 17 week course and passed the states law enforcement exam to be eligible for graduation today.  

 Bob Hallmark /bhallmark@kltv.com .

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