BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — As the Kern County Sheriff's Office continues to push to get more staffing, KCSO held its first in-person graduation ceremony in two years on Friday.
There were 33 graduates in the Frontier High School auditorium Friday afternoon.
The Kern County Sheriff’s Office said they will represent law enforcement agencies all over Kern County.
These 33 graduates represent class of 2021-24.
“It’s incredibly exciting,” said Vanessa Anderson, KCSO Deputy Sheriff.
One by one they accepted their badge from Sheriff Donny Youngblood.
New Kern County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Vanessa Anderson said going through the academy wasn’t easy: “I’m a mom to kids at home. It was difficult to come here every day but no matter what I did here I was still responsible for being a wife and a mother, so it definitely had its challenges.”
Youngblood said it's not only an accomplishment for the graduates but also one for the sheriff’s office.
“This is a big academy and it’s probably the biggest one we’ve had in three or four years, so I think we’re on the right track.”
Youngblood said the graduates will go on to work for the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, Taft, and Porterville police departments, among other agencies.
“It's a relief that’s coming for our substations, for our local patrol, and this is really important.”
First, they will start a field training program. Anderson said she is excited to get started.
“I’ll likely spend some time out here at the central receiving facility out here in Kern County.”
Youngblood said this is the first in-person graduation ceremony the department has held in two years and said it was a relief to have seen so many support their loved ones.
“We get a lot of relatives, and they are really proud of their children, their husbands, and wives for doing what they are doing as we are equally proud.”