It was graduation day for the 29 recruits of the 34th basic course for police officers of the Cape May County Police Academy.
The Cape May County Police Academy is the only residential academy in the state with recruits living at the academy Monday through Friday.
For the last 22 and one half weeks these recruits have trained and drilled in 13 different functional areas.
"We try to produce police officers that are a role model, that really try to exemplify what a law enforcement professional should be and to be an example for other people to follow," said Director of the Cape May County Police Academy Anthony Saduk.
"We reminded the graduating class that they've made a choice to serve their communities and with that choice comes great responsibility," Middle Township Police Chief Christopher Leusner.
During the ceremony several recruits received individual awards in categories ranging from vehicle operations to physical fitness.
For class 34 president Daniel Benbrook, the last 22 and one half weeks of difficult training created a bond among the 29 recruits.
"It gave me the opportunity to help them and guide them through and they helped me just as much. The class was a very strong class and we came together very quickly as a family. We endeavored a lot of challenges," said Patrolman Benbrook.
The 29 officers will join police departments across the state including 8 graduates joining the Atlantic City Police Department and six officers joining the Middletown Township Police Department in Monmouth County.
During the ceremony, Patrolmen Benbrook thanked the families of recruits and relatives of the graduates, who have also served in law enforcement, had the chance to present graduates with their badges.
Over the almost five month long basic course, Patrolman Benbrook says he is impressed with how much the state's newest officers have changed.
"Its really amazing to see the transition. That these gentlemen came together as young men and they've graduated as strong police officers."
The 29 officers will receive additional training from the police departments they will be joining.