ODESSA, Texas (Nexstar)- The newest group of recruits for the Odessa Police Department completed their firearms training early Thursday morning. The training is aimed at ensuring the cadets are familiar with their weapons and know how to use them in different situations they may face when on the job. 

“Being proficient with the weapons we carry and use on an everyday basis is extremely important…knowing what to do in certain situations could mean possibly saving someone one day,” said Cadet Chance Gladden. 

The latest group of police officers in training is set to graduate later this month, and they are greatly needed within the department amid a significant officer shortage.

“I like what the officers do, how they serve the community, seeing the good they do…I just wanted to be a part of that,” said Cadet Hector Gutierrez. 

The group has already completed their tactical driving training, as well as training in traffic control.