The 29 recruits at the Anchorage Police Department academy are roughly halfway through their training process. Some days involve plenty of time in the classroom, while others are more interactive.

For example, each recruit recently had to learn what it is like to get pepper-sprayed in the face and then defend himself or herself afterwards.

“This is my first time, so it’ll be an experience,” said Richard Macias Jr, who said part of the reason he decided to join APD was because being in law enforcement runs in his family. “We’ve got all kinds of uncles and aunts that have done it, so it’s just kind of been what we do.”

His father, Richard Macias Sr, was also an officer for the Tucson, Arizona Police Department until he retired in May. Richard Macias Sr moved to Anchorage just a few weeks later to join his son at the academy.

“I still enjoy being out on the street working, so I figured, let’s make the move up there and continue on with it,” said Richard Macias Sr, who spent more than 20 years as an officer in Tucson.

Richard Macias Jr said his dad encouraged him growing up to not be an officer.

“He tried to convince me not to all the time, but this is what I wanted to do,” he said.

Both of the Maciases are doing very well in the training process. Richard Macias Jr is ranked at the top of the academy class and his father is a close second.

“I’ve got him right where I want him,” joked Richard Macias Sr. “I’m letting him be comfortable for the moment.”

The men and their classmates graduate in about three months. Until then, they are enjoying their time training together, even on days when they get Mace sprayed in their face.

“It’s a really unique situation. How many fathers get to have that experience?” said Richard Macias Sr.

KTVA 11's Eric Ruble can be reached via email or on Facebook and Twitter.