Becoming the Badge: Life changes

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This week on Becoming the Badge, El Paso Police recruits are finishing their second week at the academy and learning quickly how their lifestyles will have to change.

Recruits are learning that becoming a police officer isn’t just a career. They’ll have to make major life changes to transition from civilian life to that of an officer.

“The recruits have been hitting the PT really hard. It’s exposed some people,” said 19-year veteran officer, Joe Lopez.

Some of the recruits have had some second thoughts.

This week the class has narrowed from 76 to 72.

Twenty-two-year-old Sergio Soto said after the first week, he didn’t know if he’d be back.

“The thoughts of quitting ran through my head," said Soto. "After the initial shock of week one and talking through it with his dad, Soto said he’s now focused on his goal of becoming an officer.

This week Lopez is showing the recruits how to change their lives, from nutrition and fitness and psychological and emotional health.

“We need to start making life changes now,” he said.

Not everyone is on track physically.

“I feel like I’m the weakest one on the team,” former nurse Sarah Tew said.

“We push these guys to the limit, not because we are being punitive or hazing but because psychological and emotional aspects of police work are a reality. They happen every day out there,” said Lopez.

“Everything has to do with the field we are going into,” said recruit Jose Lucero.

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