HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Last week, the Henrico Police Department welcomed four new female recruits, marking the first time in the force’s history that the majority of a graduating class has been women.

The new female officers are Cameron Liso, Leighann Patterson, Elizabeth Tosick, and Rachel Barbour. All four of them graduated from the 75th Basic Henrico Police Academy on Thursday. The women made their class one of the most diverse graduating classes in years.

Each of the women to join Henrico Police had this dream since they were children. It took eight months of training before graduating from the academy. They joined over 600 officers employed by the department.

“I grew up in Henrico County. I now live in Hanover, but I loved this area so much. I always wanted to be there for this community and be a helping hand to the people that need us out there,” said officer Liso.

One of the officers decided to pursue this career after working in the medical field. Another one decided after graduating college. For each of them, the academy was challenging. Officer Elizabeth Tosick shares what got her through the process.

“I know for me personally, even when things got real difficult, when the academy would come in and push you to your limits and when you felt like you couldn’t do anything right, it was my academy mates. All three of these girls and everybody else, we would sit down, and we would talk. We would talk after work. It was a really great camaraderie that we had,” Tosick explained.

Today, being a police officer can be challenging. The officers encourage anyone interested in joining law enforcement not to give up.

“I think you have to remember why you apply. It’s a hard experience but it’s so rewarding in the end to say you got through it,” Liso said.

Henrico Police is always accepting applications for officers and other positions. Anyone interested can click here.