NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - "I always wanted a career in law enforcement. I did six years in law enforcement in Jefferson Parish, and I wanted to work patrol," says Jacquen Hunter.
30-year-old Jacquen Hunter became a new recruit for the NOPD exactly one year after her sister, Officer Natasha Hunter, was killed in the line of duty.
"It's always been a dream of mine to work in law enforcement and to serve my community," says Hunter.
Jacquen Hunter believes her sister guided her through six months of training, and on Dec. 15, Jacquen Hunter graduated from the academy.
"I was proud. It's a big accomplishment. I actually got her badge, so it means a lot. It really does," says Hunter.
In joining the NOPD, Jacquen Hunter became the fourth of the Hunter sisters to become an NOPD officer.
"My older sister is a detective in domestic violence. Another sister is an officer in the second district. Natasha was in the First District night watch, and I'm in the Fourth District," says Hunter.
Officer Natasha Hunter was an 11-year veteran when police say a drunk driver slammed into the back of her marked police car as she investigated a traffic accident on the I-10. She died two days later.
"We were inseparable. We went shopping together. We took the kids to the zoo and to the park. We did everything together, and I actually talked to her the night of the accident. The last thing I told her was actually to be safe," says Hunter.
Jacquen Hunter says thinking of the last conversation she had with Natasha is especially hard.
"To know that I told her to be safe, and then to get that call that she had been involved in an accident is really…." says Hunter.
As Officer Jacquen Hunter now patrols the streets of New Orleans, she says she knows her sister would be very proud.
"She's with me. I know I have her guidance. She's a guardian angel with me. I definitely think that will make me a better police officer," says Hunter.