Wendy Marcuccio wanted to be a police officer her entire life.?

Last April, while working in a treatment centre for autistic children, the 34-year -old mother of two applied to be an officer with the Ottawa Police Service.?

She was hired by July.?

“It was a huge career change. Every day, I can’t believe this is what I’m doing,” she said. “There were second thoughts the whole way. I thought, I’m a mother, I’m a wife, I’m 34, can I do this now? But my husband and my family just said ‘if you don’t do this now, you’ll never do it.’”

As it turns out, Marcuccio fit right in with the rest of her recruit class. She said there were many parents and several older recruits among the 26 newest members of the Ottawa Police Service, who officially graduated yesterday.?

Chief Vern White welcomed the new officers to the service during the ceremony yesterday, telling them they are taking on an enormous responsibility that has no parallel in public society.?

“When people are in their greatest times of need, when they are most vulnerable, when they are looking for safety and support, we will be there,” he said.

Everyday, wearing the uniform will bring very rewarding moments and very challenging times, but the new recruits must always remember their pride in the uniform and the badge, said Const. Steve Boucher, president of the Ottawa Police Association.?