Graduating class of Philadelphia police officers includes middle-aged recruits
PHILADELPHIA - A former hairdresser, a retired school teacher and a longtime retail worker are among the dozens of new officers who will graduate the Philadelphia Police Academy next week.
The group of 39 new officers who will swear and oath to protect and serve are largely younger men and women, but a few middle-aged recruits are excited about a second-career.
"I was actually praying for this job since 2014," 47-year-old Rosmeyra Maldonado told FOX 29's Chris O'Connell. "Not only because of the money - the money is good the pension and all - but also to help people and to make a difference, to change the environment, the way that people think about police."
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There is no age cap to be a Philadelphia police officer, even though it may have been strange that most of the instructors were years younger than the older recruits.
"I said 'I’m too old' and he said ‘you look like you are in decent shape, can you run?’ I said ‘I can run a mile or two, yea I can run.’ And he said ‘I don’t think it will be an issue.’," 55-year-old William Sheehan said.
In a time when police departments nationwide are struggling to fill the rank, the 40 and 50-year-old recruits see their age as an advantage instead of a barrier.
"I am excited to learn what I'm about to serve, I'm exiced to be in the community, I'm excited to say here comes change, I can be that change," 44-year-old Claudine Evans said.