AUSTIN (KXAN) — Sixty-six new officers are joining the Austin Police Department after a graduation ceremony Friday afternoon.

Austin Police’s 144th Cadet Class will be the first class to move forward under APD’s new “reimagined” program that emphasizes de-escalation and community relations.

APD said the cadets are graduating from a 34-week training program that included legal issues, driving, crisis intervention training, community policing, leadership, defensive tactics and physical fitness.

“I spent a lot of time in public service, I was a police officer before then I was a school teacher and now I’m going back to being a police officer,” officer Le’Von Griffin said after graduating.

“I came to a point in my life where I’m like I need a change, I need to do something that gives me purpose and that can give me a way in to help people in their time of need,” new officer Natasha Wells said.