SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - The San Francisco Police Department graduated its 244th recruit class of 32 men and women on Friday, among them an unusual pair of brothers: twins Rodney and Ronney Freeman.
The brothers are native San Franciscans who want to serve the community they know: the Visitacion Valley neighborhood where they were raised by their grandparents.
The two new officers started their training seven months ago on January 5th.
Class president Rodney Freeman and his twin Ronney are now officially police officers. The brothers are determined to escape the street violence that killed so many of their friends.
"I lost a good friend. He was from the Bay View. He was about 12 years old," said Rodney.
Now as police officers, the twins hope to save the lives of children and young people.
"My heart ...man...something's got to change. I didn't want to be a part of that," said Rodney. "I'm deeply rooted in my community, so I know I can get it back. I need to be that disciplinarian. I can't let that result keep happening."
As children and young men, the twins say they've had both positive and negative contact with police.
"Growing up, we didn't like the cops. We were told cops are bad people," said Ronney, who's younger by a minute.
The twins say getting to know certain officers made the difference. Now, they hope they help can build trust in the community.
"As officers, we should not listen to respond; [we should] listen to understand. Communication is very key...very vital in this profession," said Ronney.
During the graduation, a video showed the recruit class in training. The new officers are credited with breaking up a crime in progress at a store in May. They are off to a great start.
The Freeman twins go from brothers at birth to now brothers in blue with dreams of making a difference
"Hopefully we can change perspectives just a little bit," said Ronney.
The twins say they're taking one day at a time. They start field training next week.