Photography / design by Officer Quoc-Tuan NguyenA child is born as an individual. Does he or she survive by themselves? Of course not. Someone nurtures them as they grow to become part of a family. The class epaulet located on the police cadet uniform represents more than your class color. It represents what I like to call “Individual Unity.” As each academy class begins their career, they are assigned a class number and a class color. Although there are individual class numbers, everyone is working towards the same goal and that goal is to become something bigger than themselves. They are becoming part of something that will last a lifetime as a Houston Police Officer. Sure, you will be close to your classmates and have a special bond throughout your career, but as a whole, you will have a special bond with each individual who puts on the blue uniform regardless of what academy class they attended. Academy classmates depend on each other to get through the training. Did you know that if one individual gets into trouble and has to do push ups, the whole class volunteers to join in? This is unity and this is family and it does not end there. Once you graduate, you become part of the “varsity team,” if you will. If you arrive at a scene and need help, we will be there. If you have a death in the family, we will be there. If tragedy strikes, we will be there. If your health fails, we will be there. That is what families do; they are there for each other. Even though each one of us live in a "big house" such as Houston, our family is close. In other words, “we've got your back”.