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36 OPD recruits to graduate Thursday night

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Photo: Video by kmtv.com

36 OPD recruits to graduate Thursday night

By Kimberly Foley. CREATED Aug 28, 2014
OMAHA, Neb. - On Thursday, 36 new Omaha Police Officers join the ranks swearing to protect and serve.
 
With this oath comes a new promise to a job and a community.
 
Julius Nero is one of those making the commitment. 
 
"No, I'm not nervous," he said Tuesday morning. "I'll be okay. I think I'll be okay."
 
Action 3 News first met Julius in 2005 when he was a football star at North High School.
 
His family was forced to move to Omaha after Hurricane Katrina.
 
"It's been a pleasure to be here," Julius told our cameras in 2005. "Everybody is welcoming me."
 
Julius will now take that life experience, and his academy training, and use it on the streets as an officer.
 
"I learned something new everyday," he said about his training. "I noticed this morning how far I've come from the first day. It's just an amazing feeling to know that I made it through."
 
Police have been in the national spotlight over the past few weeks.
 
First in Fergusen, MO, and then, on Tuesday when officers killed a robbery suspect and a "COPS" TV show employee in Omaha.
 
Julius said there are lessons in both incidents.
 
"I take it as go out there be aware of my surroundings," he said. "Be safe, very cautious of everything that is happening."
 
Julius isn't alone. Rosa Valencia will also graduate.
 
"No matter where you come from, you can make something of yourself, and be a positive influence," she said. 
 
The hope is to promote a positive police image on the path to a more peaceful community.
 
"I feel like the more time spent in the community, with the people and in the neighborhoods, will help not only kids, but maybe even change the minds of parents and guardians," said Julius. 
 
This group will graduate at 7 p.m.
 
Their next step is 15 weeks of field training with experienced officers.