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New Fort Worth Police Officers Sworn in Day After Attacks

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After 1,100 hours of training over the course of 34 weeks, the invocation of Police Academy Class 139 took place at Christ Chapel Church in Fort Worth, Texas. They were sworn in only a day after the sniper attacks targeting police officers in Dallas.

KHOU reports that Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald told the audience to “hold up the new officers.” Fitzgerald encourages officers to become a part of the public and to not be seen as strangers. He said, “They’re people who knew what they signed up for. But they’re not signing up to be targets. Nor are they signing up to mistreat people…I challenge you, each and every one of you, to help reverse this negative trend.”

Despite the turmoil the day before, Justin Henry proudly graduated on Friday morning. It took him over seven years to finish the academy due to injuries from the intensive training. His pregnant wife and 6-year-old son watched on while he was sworn in. KHOU asked his wife, who used to work as a police dispatcher, if she was concerned for her husband. She replied, “It’s incredibly sad. It’s terrifying, but you know in this department they have each other’s back.”

With that strong sentiment in mind, the new officers will support those who have lost their friends to senseless violence.