New officers hit Suffolk’s streets

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 21, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

Eight new police officers will soon be pounding pavement in Suffolk.

The officers have returned to the Suffolk Police Department after their recent graduation from the Hampton Roads Criminal Justice Training Academy.

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The newly graduated officers have completed their basic law enforcement course, which included intensive training in firearms, driving, defensive tactics, accident investigation, criminal and traffic laws, patrol techniques, first aid and CPR.

Before hitting the streets, the rookie officers must go through five weeks of in-house training and several weeks of field training with the training officers in the Uniform Patrol division.

The newest crop of officers – which includes two Suffolk natives –

comes from a diverse background, said Lt. Debbie George, spokeswoman for the Suffolk Police Department.

&uot;Each officer will bring his

individual talents to the department,&uot; George said. &uot;But all recognize the growth potential of the city and department and each is looking forward to being a part of that growth.&uot;

The new officers include:

-Officer Robert E. Burton, 42, who is a native of Los Angeles, Calif. Burton. He retired after 23 years in the military, is single with three children.

-Officer Edward &uot;Ned&uot; Kuehn, 48,

was born and raised in Virginia Beach. A Virginia Tech graduate, Kuehn is a former commercial/corporate pilot who opted for a career change.

He and his wife have two children, Bryce, 8, and Bailey,


-Officer William N. Shockley, a native of Louisiana, has a bachelors degree in sociology, with a minor in political science, from Virginia Tech.

Shockley, 26, and his wife, Sharon, now live in Chesapeake.

-Officer Brenan L. Oliver, 22, has always called Suffolk home. A May 2002 graduate of Christopher Newport University, Oliver is looking forward to working in his hometown.

&uot;Suffolk is an extremely special place to work and live,&uot; he said. &uot;I honestly could not think of a better place to start my career in law enforcement than in the great place where I was born and raised.&uot;

-Officer Joshua B. Butts, a 21-year-old Suffolk native, has wanted to be a police officer since childhood. He is currently in the Virginia National Air Guard, 203rd Red Horse Squadron. Butts’ parents, Cindy and Cleve Butts, also reside in Suffolk. He has a sister, Casey, and brother, Matthew, who is in the U.S. Marines.

Butts is following in the footsteps of his uncle, a former city police officer and state trooper.

-Officer Nathan Rau, 24, is in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserves.

He and his wife, Kim, live in Chesapeake.

-Officer Lance A. Baker, originally from Jackson, Miss., is a retired air traffic controller with the U.S. Navy. Baker, 39, and his wife, Melinda, live in Great Bridge. He has a daughter, Brittany, 9, and stepdaughter, Jessica, 16.

-Officer Tim J. Tharpe, 24, is a native of Chesapeake. He graduated from Hickory High School and Advance Technology Institute.