Chasing the American dream: Cadet becomes citizen to join police academy

By Sasha Lenninger

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    ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (KOAT) -- Since he was a boy, Abraham Luna always wanted to become a police officer.

"I respect what they do and the job, the challenges they face every day, what they do for the community. It's what really drives me and encourage me to give it a shot," Luna said.

But the 34-year-old had one thing in his way, his citizenship. Luna was a Mexican citizen and in order to apply to the Albuquerque Police Academy, he had to become an American citizen.

"I started the process. I got my green card. After my green card, I had to wait a certain time to be able to apply for my citizenship," said Luna.

This past February, he took the citizenship test and passed.

"It was definitely nerve-wracking. I didn't know what to expect," Luna told KOAT. "I went over some material and once I was able to sit down and calm myself down and start the test, it was like doing a test when I was in college back again."

Once passed, the first thing he did was apply to APD.

"I consider Albuquerque my home. I have a family, I have a wife and children. It feels right to stay here where I actually have memories and I have created a future. The rewarding feeling of helping even a neighbor, it's amazing," Luna said.

He hopes his story teaches others to go after their dreams.

"If there is something you really want to do, there are ways to approach that and you can make it happen," Luna said. "If you apply yourself, if you commit yourself to it, you can accomplish those goals. You can you can make a difference."

Luna is part of Class 126, which is set to graduate in December. There are 31 cadets in that class. Of that, four are naturalized citizens.

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