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Welcome aboard! Knoxville Police Department hosts graduation ceremony for 20 new recruits

The Knoxville Police Department celebrated the graduation of the 20 newest officers Thursday night.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Police officers filled the Knoxville Civic Coliseum Auditorium Thursday night, but it wasn't to respond to a call for help.

Instead, the Knoxville Police Department hosted the graduation ceremony for the 2020-B Basic Recruit Class. A total of 20 graduates were recognized for their work as they stood on stage before a podium. It included three lateral officers, according to a release from officials.

"Everybody came here as a different person, and everybody is leaving here as a different person," said Matthew Hurski, a recruit of the class."We all came together to become police officers, and we've done exactly that. But we've also learned how to become our own people."

Everyone in the building had their temperature taken before entering the building, and participants had to sign a list for contact tracing if needed. People over 12 years old were also required to wear a mask.

Seating was limited to 20% of the normal capacity. Families were allowed to sit together but were distanced from other groups.