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Grandfather Turned Police Officer Begins New Career

NEW BEDFORD (CBS) -- A 48-year-old grandfather from New Bedford is one of the city's newest police officers.

Officer Mark Conley said he was ready to hit the beat.

"I am!  At 48-years-old, I'm hitting the beat, and I'm loving the opportunity to give it my best," he said.

Mark Conley, one of New Bedford's newest police officers. (WBZ-TV)

Conley received his badge on Friday with about 50 other police graduates at a special ceremony in New Braintree.

"I believe in police.  I believe in the greater good.  I always have," he said.

But being a police recruit is usually a young person's game.

Before beginning his police training, Conley was a manager at a health club. Becoming a police officer has always been a dream of his.

"I'm from New Bedford, Mass.  I love my city and I always wanted to give back.  It's a beautiful city and it needs help like every other city, and I want to be part of that help."

Conley, along with the other recruit at their graduation ceremony (WBZ-TV)

Conley's family was there to cheer him on.

Kenji Conley, his son, said, "It's definitely an accomplishment because whatever the age, he always has the determination to do anything that he's driven to do."

His daughter, Charnell Norman, added, "This for me was huge, because he's worked so hard for this and it's something he's always wanted to do and he finally did it. "

And Conley can't wait to start.

"Monday.  Monday, so no rest.  Come Monday is day one of the rest of my life," he said.

The new officers will serve in Fitchburg, Framingham, Reading, Shrewsbury and about 30 other communities.

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