144th reimagined APD cadet class now underway

For as long as she could remember, Jodean Dixon wanted to be a cop.

"I’ve always had passion for saving lives in general. I looked into nursing, it was never for me," she said.

She researched, before realizing her true calling was policing. "You get to see victims, you get to be a part of everyday life, and just helping people, and kids, which are my passion," said Dixon.

She applied and got accepted into the Austin Police Department Police Academy back in 2019. She moved away from family in West Palm Beach, Florida, and was ready to start classes last summer.

"We went through the hiring process, got accepted in April or May, and unfortunately the academy was postponed because of coronavirus and then protests, the city wanted to take a break," she said.

A year later, she is finally starting her journey along with 99 other cadets. They are part of the 144th reimagined academy.

"It really was an educational year for me, it taught me patience. It really showed who is meant for the job," she said, about the wait.


After civil unrest stemming from the death of George Floyd, the Austin City Council put cadet classes on hold, until the city could come up with some major changes in curriculum.

"We are having a shift from military style, which is lecture and listen, to that adult learning environment where there is much more interchange," said Interim Chief Joseph Chacon.

"Our instructors and staff have worked tirelessly to ensure that we have created the most comprehensive, effective, thought-provoking curriculum for our cadets," said Commander Catherine Johnson.

The academy will have an independent evaluator observing classes, creating more transparency. This class is also the most diverse, with 57 percent being minorities, Dixon feels honored to be a part of that change.


"I feel like I’d be able to show other African-American, and black female immigrants that there is room for us to come in, don't be afraid," said Dixon.

The class will graduate in January 2022.