The Lubbock Police Academy has lost five recruits in the last week, meaning the largest class in history went from 44 to 39.
Thousands of city dollars have been spent to get the recruits through the door, and now that money invested in the five recruits is lost.
NewsChannel 11 has been following three recruits throughout their training, and today they tell us about their challenges as they go through the academy.
Jonathan Tutino admits, "This has been the most challenging week of my life both physically and academically." Fellow teammate Kody Nesbitt says he's learned a lot, "What I realized, I was able to do it, do more than I gave myself credit for." Olivia Lopez says her biggest challenge has been push ups. "I go home and still try and do more."
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Our three recruits are still hanging in there, but it hasn't been easy. Tutino sums it up for the team and says, "From the first day, 8:00 a.m., it was definitely a trial. They gave us a quote, 'What doesn't kill me makes me stronger.' That's what I think about every time there's a trial or tribulation."
During the academy, the recruits have to follow every rule every time. For example, every time they leave or enter the building, they have to do two pull ups. They're also responsible for all of the chores in the building like cleaning bathrooms and scrubbing floors, but the academy officers say that every rule happens for a reason.
"The training we're receiving now will save our lives on the street. The reason they're so hard on us is so we can prove to the other 340 officers that we're gonna be there for them." Jonathan understands why the recruits need to be challenged, as well as why they need to be pushed to the extreme.
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Public safety tops the priority list for city council, and they have given the green light to hire enough staff, but the problem is Lubbock police can't seem to get enough applicants.
And as for those who quit, the recruits were sad to see teammates go, but thankful they realized this was not the career for them before it was too late. Recruit Nesbitt says, "The fear of the unknown can sometimes be worse than the actual encounter. I personally wish them the best, but don't want them here if they don't want to be here, if they're not going to give 100% like the rest of us."
The largest graduating class was the class of 1987 which started with 38, and graduated 37, two of which were fire marshals. But even if all of the current 39 recruits graduate, Lubbock police will still need to hire about a hundred officers. They are accepting applications for the next academy, and will offer the entrance exam on April 2nd.