HOLLAND, Mich. -- The Holland Department of Public Safety has gotten a little cuter recently thanks to the five officers who all welcomed new babies into their families in the past 10 months.
Meet Tessa, Jonah, Merritt, Marco and Jameson.
"It's always a little tough because we're all in different platoons, so you hear about it," said Bryan Spykerman, father of 4-month-old Tessa. "But it's always a blessing and great to see all these little ones."
Spykerman says it's hard to keep a tough guy persona when you have kids. "I have two girls, and it definitely softens you up a little bit," he said.
Officer Ben Reuschel agrees and says that raising a newborn baby is harder than being a police officer. "You empathize a lot easier," said Reuschel. "Seven hours with a baby is worse than a 12-hour day working."
The officers say the best part about having kids is coming home to see their smiling faces every day. and they give a lot of credit to their wives.
"We come to work and train all the time, and our wives don't," said Rod Mendoza, father of 8-month-old Marco. "There's times where you say it's a lot, and our wives do it day in and day out. They love them and have a smile on their face. They're tougher than we are."
That's a common belief among the officers.
"My wife stays at home, and I can guarantee that that's a lot harder than what I do," said John Rathjen, father of 6-month-old Merritt. "I can't give you exact reasons, but our job is hard. We all love it, but I think each one of us wouldn't change and stay at home and take care of these kiddos 24/7."
They say it's tough to raise kids while working 12-hour shifts in law enforcement.
"My two-and-a-half-year-old has fun explaining what her dad does as an officer," said Spykeman. "She knows that dad sometimes puts people in timeouts."
Through the long nights, the tears and the diaper changes, these officers say it's all worth every second.
"The smiles are the best part," said Joel Reimink, father of 5-month-old Jonah. "I love coming home and having the kids wake up and see you and give you a big hug. It's awesome."
"I think it's a privilege to be a part of raising kids," said Mendoza.
The fathers of the girls say their daughters won't be allowed to date until they're 30 and their dates will be greeted at the door by them in full uniform.