Atlanta Police Academy graduates 29 - Dallas News |

Atlanta Police Academy graduates 29

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Twenty-nine men and women graduated from the Atlanta Police Academy on Tuesday. Twenty-nine men and women graduated from the Atlanta Police Academy on Tuesday.

Atlanta has more than two dozen new police officers. Twenty-nine men and women graduated from the academy on Tuesday.

The graduates have just finished weeks of hard training in Atlanta's police academy.  

"You look at the faces of these young men and women and you think, they are very brave souls who want to protect citizens in a very difficult time," said Atlanta Police Chief George Turner.

The graduates came from different backgrounds and had different reasons for being there.   

Lorraine Vultaggio has an undergraduate degree in public relations and journalism and a master's in sports management, yet she felt compelled to become a police officer.

"It's truly a calling. It's something that's inside of you that you feel that you need to do," said Vultaggio.

It's been quite a journey for her. Along the way, she's been told more than once that it's a man's job.

"We're dealing with men, women and children and sometimes it's ideal to have a female officer in certain situations," said Vultaggio.

With the addition of Vultaggio and her classmates, Atlanta's police force is getting close to 2,000 total officers -- a goal Chief Turner says the department will reach before the end of the year.  But even with that many officers, Turner says it's not enough.

"We need the entire community to continue to embrace what we're doing, build great collaborations as we move forward in making Atlanta the safest big city in America," said Turner.

The graduates will now undergo 12 weeks of field training where they'll get hands-on experience.

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