HPD welcomes most senior rookie into its ranks

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- At 53 years young, Officer Wendy Caldwell recently made history at the Houston Police Department. She's the oldest cadet to ever graduate from the department's police academy.

Caldwell reported for duty last month at HPD's substation off Teague Road. She knows the station pretty well -- she last worked there in 1998, but decided to step aside from crime fighting.

"I just felt like it was my duty and responsibility to raise my kids, so that's what I did for the next 18 years," said Caldwell. "I raised my kids. I homeschooled for my first 8 years then they went back to public school. I just did the whole mom thing. I did everything. Soccer games, baseball, you name it. We just did it all."

Caldwell said she loved being a police officer and felt it was time to return to the force. She enrolled in HPD's police academy last year.

From August 2016 to March 2017, she fought through pain and injuries to graduate, something which even grabbed the attention of the city's top cop Art Acevedo.

"She came back because she wants to make a difference," said Acevedo.

Caldwell said her message to others is simple: Don't give up on your dreams.

"I just say to anybody that wants to do this job or any other job or any other goal you might have, it's never too late," said Caldwell.

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