LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville Metro Police will soon have two dozen more officers on the streets. They're the latest graduates of the department's police academy -- and they will all hit the streets knowing the dangers and challenges of wearing the badge.

One by one, Chief Steve Conrad inspected the officers graduating from the Metro Police Academy Friday afternoon.

The new officers include several military veterans like Navara Chandler, who has seen action in both Iraq and Afghanistan, but admits the nationwide climate between police and the public caused some inner debate. 

"But the debate actually didn't take me very long," Chandler said. "I mean, I already have the skill set from being in the military, and just that same urge, drive and desire to protect and try to make my community safer."

He also knows the job comes with challenges and dangers, like what two fellow officers faced earlier this week after being confronted by a man with a knife, or the "hands-up-don't-shoot" movement that alleges black men are targeted by police.

"That's another reason why, or motivated me to become a police officer," Chandler said. "Just that public face and just to show that there are good officers."

"It is truly a challenging job, and I really commend these young people for accepting the challenges that come with being a police officer," said Chief Conrad.

Chief Conrad says those challenges also come with opportunities.

"Opportunities to serve the community, opportunities to make a difference," he said.

It's a difference Ofc. Navara Chandler hopes to be for his son and other young men in the community.

"Just trying to be that positive role model," he said.

The new officers will be on the streets this weekend.

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