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Dallas PD rookies stand out for their age, connection to US Marine Corps

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In light of a massive shortage of eligible candidates for the Dallas Police Department, the mother of a US Marine has stepped up to answer the call of duty and patrol the streets of the Texas metropolis.

At 44 years of age, Mireya Espinoza is a mother of three, including on US Marine Reservist. She’s also a rookie patrol officer with the Dallas Police Department, and has wanted to be one for over a decade.

Espinoza graduated from her police academy class in June, making her the oldest female rookie of her class and the second-oldest rookie next to Lewis Young, a 25-year Marine Corps veteran who signed up after seeing there was a shortage.

For Young, what he sees on Dallas’ streets is little different from what he saw deployed overseas.

“I’ve seen the worst of humanity in third-world countries all over the globe,” he told D Magazine. “I hate to say it, but it’s the same stuff, different country. It’s been eye-opening.”

For the less-seasoned Espinoza, the transition from citizen to police officer wasn’t as easy, but is still something she feels she can handle.

“You just have to learn how to keep it at work and not take it home with you.” For the most part, she says, “I’ve really enjoyed it.”

The Dallas Police Department has struggled to retain officers due to dangerous conditions, low pay, poor pension and other woes.

Despite issues within the agency, DPD boasts a nine-month police academy, one of the best in the country.

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