A new class of future deputies is one step closer to patrolling the streets of Knox County.
The 25-member class of 2012 graduated from the Knox County Sheriff's Office Regional Training Academy on Friday.
The officers endured 10 weeks of intense training to learn about criminal law, arrest procedures and tools of the trade such as firearms, driving and defensive tactics.
Class President Jeremy Montgomery says he's always wanted to be a deputy, and his inspiration came from a personal hero, his father.
"He's been with the sheriff's office for 20-something years. I just looked up to him. He's always been awesome in my eyes, so that's what made me want to do it," he said.
The deputies will not begin their own patrols right away. The graduates will be activated in the future as others deputies retire and spots open up with the department. Then they'll ride along with an experienced officer for several weeks before they're cleared to be on their own.