Dozens of new deputies from the Denver Sheriff's Department graduated Friday, following 16 weeks of intense training. The department is calling it a "mega class."
“We're looking for leaders,” said Denver Sheriff Patrick Firman.
Eighty recruits were at graduation, more than three times the typical class size. It is the largest class ever to go through the academy.
The graduation of the new recruits comes on the heels of last year's scathing review of the Denver Sheriff Department. A third-party consultant found problems at every level, including cases of excessive force.
Now, these new deputies insist they will be different.
“I thought, this is a time for me to make a difference,” said Deputy Sheriff Bridget Andrews.
Deputy Andrews said she wants to be part of the change.
“We talk about being role models. When I was growing up everyone wanted to play cops and robbers. Everyone wanted to be a cop. And I don't know where we went wrong with that,” she said.
A deputy with a background in military service and journalism, Deputy Andrews said it's all about de-escalation, using her words before using her gun.