With their friends and families waiting in the background, Class 122 of the Los Angeles Police Department's Academy eagerly waited for their turn to walk up and receive their diploma — especially 45-year-old Miguel Camarena.
"I feel amazing," said the newly minted officer. "I feel very honored, very honored to wear this uniform. It means a lot to me, I'm very proud."
Officer Camarena's life-long dream of dawning a badge was put on hold early in life as his family grew.
"He had a cell phone store for 9, 10 years," said his wife Veronica Camarena. "He actually raised my daughter while working his own shop. "The day she was born, he was holding her in one hand and fixing cell phones in another."
While he had to put his dreams on hold, he lived his dream through his two daughters, who graduated from police magnet programs, and his son currently in one.
But once he received his U.S. citizenship, and with his children having an amazing experience going through the programs, Camarena decided to get his dream got back on track.
"I'm beyond proud, beyond proud," said Veronica. "I tell him that every day 'That you are literally setting an example for your children. There is no age, no limit, you've accomplished everything you ever wanted.'"
Camarena was assigned to patrol at LAPD's Devonshire Station and begins his first day next Wednesday.
While there is no age limit for LAPD recruits, they just have to be able to make it through the academy.
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