SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - San Francisco has 18 new police officers ready to hit the streets. Friday night, the department's 254th recruiting class had its graduation ceremony.
"I am so happy this is the best night of my life this is all I've wanted," says San Francisco Police Officer Sarah Jones.
The diversity is evident in this class with four women and several of the new officers are bilingual.
Interim police Chief Toney Chaplin presided over the ceremony saying it’s one of the bright spots of doing his job. This ceremony is his last as San Francisco's top cop.
"To be able to get out and see these young folks graduate and get out into the field. It’s been fantastic and this is a great way to end it," says Chaplin.
"We want to get out there. We want to help people as soon as possible and we want to be on the streets as soon as possible," says Jones.
This group is taking on a tough job, one that some say has been tainted by controversial officer involved shootings nationwide. But also at a time when officers are under attack, according to the Officers Down Memorial Page 140 offices died in the line of duty nationwide in 2016.
"Chief Chaplin said something about as long as you do the right thing and that's your motivation then you'll come out ahead and I believe that," says San Francisco Police Officer Robert Lewis.
When these recruits hit the streets they'll have two less tools to protect themselves. San Francisco Police Commission banned a controversial choke hold the department calls the carotid and has yet to allow the officers to be equipped with stun guns.
However, this group will have newer technology to work with than some previous classes.
"They're being issued smartphones right of the bat. They're having body cameras issued to them right of the bat. All the things that are new to some of the older officers is just going to be something they learn on day one in the police academy," says Chaplin. The new officers still have 16 weeks of field training ahead.