LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Southern Desert Regional Police Academy held its graduation on Thursday where 12 new officers were honored for their perseverance and dedication.

Lansen Decosta is now a police officer whose journey started in high school.

“It’s real, it’s not a stroll in the park,” Decosta said. “I went to high school at Veterans Tribute Career and Technical Academy, where I majored in law enforcement.”

Decosta eventually became a corrections officer, wanting to change lives.

I worked at the Nevada Department of Corrections for two years and I realized I wanted to do more and help a lot of the guys that were in there, stay out of prison.

Decosta tells 8 News Now he decided to join the Southern Desert Regional Police Academy, and along with eleven other recruits, become an officer of the law.

The new graduates will now start their advanced academy training for four weeks before entering the field.

Lieutenant Toni Summerlin has high hopes for the new graduates entering the field.

“I definitely want them to feel a purpose. I want them to understand there is a need for them. There is a desire for them to be in this community, and that they are supported,” she said.