COLLEGE POINT — She grew up in a family of police officers, but it was her non-uniformed dad who pushed Pracifanie Holmes to join the NYPD.
"He's taught me discipline, he's been very strict with me — and I didn't understand why until now," the 22-year-old said after being one of 700 new recruits sworn in by Mayor Bill de Blasio and Commissioner James O'Neill at the NYPD Academy in College Point on Tuesday. Her class had 172 women — the highest percentage in department history.
Holmes has five aunts, including NYPD Assistant Chief Juanita Holmes, who was just promoted to oversee Queens North, and Deputy Inspector Janice Holmes, the commanding officer of the 100th Precinct, to look up to in the department.
An uncle is also a detective and two cousins are officers.
Two cousins have joined ahead of her, but so far she's the youngest to sign up.
"They started a legacy, to say the least," she said of her family.
"And I'm extremely proud to continue on with that legacy and make a difference in the city and protect and serve the city of New York."
Holmes (center) joined 700 recruits Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2016 at the Police Academy in College Point to be sworn in as the NYPD's latest class. (DNAinfo/Katie Honan)
Holmes grew up in Bay Shore, Long Island, and initially thought about studying pre-med while in Suffolk County Community College.
But one juvenile justice class in her first semester "changed my entire perception on everything," she said.
She graduated from Long Island University with a degree in criminal justice in May and entered the academy as soon as she could.
When she's been asked why she didn't take the test to be a Suffolk County police officer, among the highest paid in the state, she explains that her heart is in the NYPD.
"I simply told them, [New York] is the best city in the world and I want to work for New York City and I want to continue on my family's legacy," she said.
Before the swearing-in, her aunt, Juanita Holmes, posed with her for a photo and a hug.
The younger Holmes, who still has six months of academy training ahead of her, one day dreams of being a detective.
"I'm going to see where this job takes me," she said.