HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — On Thursday, Harrisburg Police swore in 11 new officers to join the department. City officials say this cadet class is unique.

In order to start with the Harrisburg Bureau of Police, the prospective officers participate in a formal swearing-in ceremony. Last month, Harrisburg City Council approved the 2023 city budget. With that, the police department was able to hire new officers.

Deputy Chief Dennis Sorensen says adding this number of cadets fills the department’s patrol officer vacancy. Once they get sworn in, they will begin a six-month police academy at Harrisburg Area Community College.

One of the new officers is 64-year-old Dan Donovan, who is believed to be the oldest new officer in the bureau’s history. Officials say that’s proof age doesn’t get in the way of wanting to serve the community.

Donovan said his decision to become a police officer comes after a 21-year career as an attorney with the U.S. Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps, followed by 13 years with the U.S. Department of Defense.

Aside from that, it will also be one of the largest cadet classes the department has seen in a long time.

“I get the chance to sit on 99% of the police interviews, and one of the questions is, ‘Why do you want to be a Harrisburg police officer?’ And the majority of people — there’s always a canned answer that is, ‘I really want to help people,’ and a lot of people really mean that, and they think they can make a difference in the lives of citizens of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania,” said Sorensen.

Harrisburg Bureau of Police will also promote two officers to corporal.