26 cadets graduate from Huntsville Police Academy

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- A graduation ceremony was held Friday for a brand new group of men and women ready to protect and serve in Huntsville.

Twenty-six new officers were officially welcomed to the Huntsville Police Department.

"It's one of those careers where people watch, people see officers and they think they can do that job -- but they cannot do that job. Those officers are special people," said Captain DeWayne McCarver with the Huntsville Police Department.

Family, friends and loved ones all gathered to watch the graduation. Leslie Freeman said she tries to attend every graduation she can.

"I've been on both sides of the fence. I know what these cadets are going through, I see them, I know from Eric's standpoint."

Leslie was married to Huntsville Police Officer Eric Freeman. Eric was shot and killed 10 years ago while investigating a simple traffic accident. One of the drivers involved in the wreck onBailey Cove Road shot the officer.

Like Eric and other police officers who make the ultimate sacrifice while protecting and serving, each and every one needs support from their department, their families, friends and the communities they serve.

"These men and women...they just don't do it on their own...it's the family members out here and if I can lend a helping hand by just showing up....then I'm happy to," said Leslie.

Friday's graduation was the 57th graduating class of the Huntsville Police Academy.