A record number of female officers made history Friday as they were sworn into the San Jose Police Department.
The ceremony took place at San Jose City College and marked a milestone for the city.
"I'm very proud. We’re making history," said new police officer Denise Alvarez. "The nine of us were very together. We got each other through. It’s definitely a sisterhood that we all built."
Alvarez was a teacher for three years before she decided that wearing the badge was her next calling. She and eight other women were part of the 47 officers who took an oath Friday.
"It's just an honorable position to uphold in this community," Alvarez said.
The academy has never graduated these many female officers in any academy but her cadet-mates say gender never mattered in the San Jose Academy.
"To me, they're just a bunch of recruits in the class," new police officer Roger Diaz said. "All of them can carry their own."
The women will follow the footsteps of those before him, like Acting Captain Heather Randol, the highest-ranking woman on the force.
"I think it's also about confidence, and knowing that you have what it takes to be successful here," said Randol.
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said he can see the day when the department will have its first female police chief, and she might already be within the ranks.
"We're trying to grow the right way. It isn't just getting 60 or 50 bodies," said police Chief Eddie Garcia. "It's getting the right people in the academy. And we know we have a lot of work to do in that arena."