The Chattanooga Police Department's 2019-20 class of cadets completed the 5th Annual Immersion Project designed to help officers gain a better understanding our diverse community.

Jesslyn Douglas is one of the 21 cadets who completed the project.

Before she decided to become an officer, she played softball at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 2017. 

She is also one of eight women in this summer’s cadet class and believes she's found the perfect career.

"I found my purpose with this job, and I never regretted it a day after I made my decision. It is the best decision I made. This has been the happiest I've been in my life and I love where I'm at, this place and these people I'm with,” Douglas said.

The cadets conducted research on different groups in Chattanooga.

Douglas' group focused on mental health and learned how officers should engage with someone with a mental illness.

"It was really interesting to see their perspective on police and get some tips and ideas from people on what we can do better. And how we can communicate and just live our lives and do our jobs better with those people as well,” Douglas said.

Chief David Roddy hopes this project will help future officers better understand everyone they serve.

"Don't lose sight of understanding or taking the time to reflect on what someone else's perspective looks like when you engage with them. Because if you only come at them with your own perspective, you're going to miss it, and the conversation could potentially go in a direction that is not productive for anybody,” Roddy said.

The cadets will graduate from the academy on August 15.