Promotions strengthen law officers

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 8, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

Dozens of family members, friends and police officers turned out last week to witness seven of their own climb the ranks within the Suffolk Police Department.

The officers were promoted Jan. 29 during a ceremony that opened with the recitation of the &uot;Police Officer’s Oath of Honor.&uot; The vow was adopted by the department and its personnel a few weeks ago.


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Captain Larry E. Wilson, a 23-year department veteran, was promoted to the rank of major. He is filling a position left vacant by the Dec. 31 retirement of Major Richard Hurd.

Police Chief William Freeman, who was Wilson’s supervisor not long after the major joined the department in 1981, said Wilson would have his work cut out for him. However, he said Wilson’s uncanny abilities to size up a situation and information to make informed decisions would make it all worthwhile.

Since 1996, Wilson has served as commanding officer of the operations section, and of each precinct when the city was divided into two sectors.

Wilson is a certified field training officer, general instructor and traffic officer. He was certified as a canine handler in 1987, and was promoted to sergeant in Aug. 1988. At that same time, he was transferred to special investigations, and attended many schools, including Top Gun, the DEA Investigator’s School and Basic Internal Affairs School.

He spent several years in the department’s special investigations unit.

Wilson attended the 193rd session of the FBI Academy in 1998. He is also a graduate of Christopher Newport University’s Mid-Atlantic Police Supervisory Institute.

Wilson and his wife, Karen, have a son, Gabe.

Other promotions went to:

nLt. John E. Brooks, who has been with the department for 12 years, was promoted to the rank of captain. He has been serving as commanding officer of Sector I-C Section since June 2002.

He also attended the first Virginia school for the use of lasers in speed measurement, and he’s been instrumental in bringing the science to the department

Brooks joined the department April 1992, serving with uniform patrol and earning many certifications: fatality investigator, field training officer, general instructor, speed measurement instructor, ASP instructor, chemical weapons instructor, and defensive tactics instructor.

He is also certified as an adjunct instructor from Louisiana State University in the Law Enforcement Officer’s Response for Weapons of Mass Destruction Incidents.

Brooks completed the &uot;Train the Trainer Officer Survival Course,&uot; sponsored by the FBI, and with his certification he has been greatly used by the training division to provide state of the art instruction on a number of subjects.

He commands the honor guard, and serves as an auxiliary motor cycle officer

Brooks, a veteran of the U.S. Army, is married to Tayloe. The couple has three children, Ryan, Laura, and Cameron.

nMaster Police Officer James D. Buie was promoted to the rank of sergeant. With the department since September 1996, he has worked in the department’s Special Investigations Unit for the past several years. He is also a member of the Critical Incident Response Team, where he serves in a special capacity as Suffolk’s most highly trained hostage negotiator.

He was Officer of the Fourth Quarter in 2000 and Officer of the Year 2000. Buie is a graduate of the DEA Basic Drug Investigator’s School, and the Commonwealth of Virginia Investigation and Prosecution of Drug Case Investigations, better known as &uot;Top Gun.&uot;

The sergeant and his wife, Estelita, have two children, Daniel and Ashley.

nOfficer Lance Callis, who was promoted to master police officer, joined the Suffolk Police Department in July 1994 as a uniform patrol officer.

In 1997, he was transferred to criminal investigations where he served as a detective for two years. He chose to return to uniform patrol in 1999. He has numerous certifications, including that of general instructor, fatality investigator, evidence technician, and field training officer.

Callis, who was Officer of the Year in 2002, was also recognized as a member of the city’s Team of the Quarter in 2002. He was recently assigned to the department’s Critical Incident Response Team.

Callis has a 6-year-old son, Noah.

nSandra L. Gilluly, a member of the uniform patrol division who joined the department September 1995, was also promoted to the rank of sergeant. She was transferred August 1997 to the newly formed Bicycle Patrol, where she is seen keeping downtown Suffolk safe by patrolling streets and parking lots on the department’s custom-built mountain bikes. As a bike patrol officer, Gilluly received numerous certifications including uniform patrol bicycle patrol officer, field training officer and DARE instructor. She is also a certified general instructor, meaning she instructs other officers in the department.

Gilluly was certified by the state as the first Crime Prevention Specialist for the Suffolk Police Department. She has also served as the department’s representative for TRIAD, a group serving area senior citizens, and she works as a member of the Community Improvement Unit, assisting citizen groups and businesses with crime prevention efforts.

nSergeant C. Steve Patterson, with the department since September 1994, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant.

In June 2003, Patterson was transferred to the Community Improvement Unit and given the opportunity to develop the group into a hard-hitting enforcement unit, designed to make improvements by partnering with other agencies in the city and citizens. He is a squad leader in the Critical Incident Response Team, and he’s one of the department’s Chemical Munitions instructors.

Patterson was the department’s Police Officer of the Year in 1997. In February 1998, he was transferred to the Special Investigations Unit and again was recognized as Officer of the Quarter.

During his time in SIU, Patterson was certified as a field training officer, and he attended numerous schools including the DEA Basic Drug Investigator’s School and the Top Gun training. He was promoted to sergeant in Dec. 1999 where he was his squad’s supervisor. In June 2000, he received the general instructor’s certification and has actively been in partnership with the Virginia Community Policing Institute, teaching innovative ways of addressing drug problems and quality of life problems in neighborhoods.

Patterson has two associate’s degrees from Paul D. Camp Community College; police science and correctional science. He has earned his bachelor’s degree in governmental administration from Christopher Newport University.

Patterson and his wife, Pam, have two daughters, Meagan and Lauren.

nLt. Dean M. Smith, who joined the department in 1989, is now wearing the bars of captain. Moving through the ranks, Smith was designated as a field training officer in Jan. 1997, and received many certifications including fatality investigator, general instructor, and radar operator. He was promoted to sergeant in September 1997, and while serving in uniform patrol perfected and administered the Field Training Officer Program. In Feb. 2000, he achieved the rank of lieutenant and served as commanding officer of uniform patrol officers.

Smith attended the 209th session of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, and in 2002, was named the commanding officer for Central Records, and the Training and Communications Sections.

The captain also became one of the commanding officers in charge of the CRT, attending a week of intense training at the Chesapeake Police Academy. He is also the commanding officer of the police department’s Underwater Recovery Dive Team.

Smith and his wife Robin have two children, Lauren and Taylor.