A city the size of Corpus Christi needs constant patrol and protection. With a population of almost 326,000 people the need for the police department to grow is vital.
The Corpus Christi Police Department held its police academy graduation ceremony Friday at the Selena Auditorium.
The 28 cadets who became Corpus Christi police officers are ready to make sure the community is safe.
"Everybody knows the challenges we faced this past year, and to make it through and to be here in this great city -- I couldn't be more thrilled and ready to go," said Christopher Davis.
And although they're excited to begin patrolling the city, they're also aware of the challenges they will face.
"You really to consider the whole picture -- what you're coming into," said Manuel Alaffa. "There is gonna be things we look foward to -- connecting with the community and helping people. There is also the law enforcement side you need to do."
As KRIS 6 News has reported over the last few months, veteran officers have recently retired, requiring new officers to fill those holes.
CCPD Public Information Officer Lt. Michael Pena said the department's numbers recently have stayed stagnant.
"Our force, we haven't really gotten bigger in 20 years," he said. "It has kind of fluctuated around 451.”
He said the department currently has 440 officers. At the beginning of the year, the department had seven officers retire, but he said that's not uncommon.
"You have to keep in mind that some of us are getting to that age where it is more beneficial to retire," he said.
The Corpus Christi Police Department is still hiring, saying it hopes to continue to grow the department in order to better serve its citizens.