Seven new officers on the Suffolk beat

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 28, 2005

Suffolk News-Herald

Seven new police officers will soon be pounding the pavement in Suffolk.

The officers have returned to the Suffolk Police Department after their graduation Friday 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 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 Travon Ricks, 27,

is a New York native who came to Suffolk because of the department’s growth potential. Ricks, who one day hopes to be a police chief, lives in Franklin with his wife and son.

-Officer James Salmon III, 22, is following in his father’s footsteps and fulfilling a lifelong ambition to be a police officer by joining the city’s police force. Salmon’s father, James &uot;Tommy&uot; Salmon, is a former Suffolk police officer and current employee for the Suffolk Sheriff’s Department. Salmon and his wife live in Suffolk and have a daughter, Alexis.

-Officer Cheryl Balzer, 49, was drawn to the Suffolk by the city’s &uot;small town feel but city atmosphere.&uot; The New Mexico native has two grown children and lives in Chesapeake.

-Officer T. Adam Smith , 22, originally hails from Virginia Beach.

Now a Chesapeake resident, he became a police officer in order to &uot;help people as much as possible.&uot;

-Officer Quinn Beers, 26, is a native of Alabama.

His biggest challenge in the academy was the firearms training, since he had no experience with them before joining the department.

Beers and his wife, Tracey, live in Norfolk and are awaiting the arrival of their first child.

-Officer Sherry Fellers, 27, is a Portsmouth native and Suffolk resident. She and her husband, Charles, a former Suffolk Police officer, have a 2-year-old son named Charlie.

-Officer Nicholas Homuth, 24, a Chesapeake resident, is orignally from Idaho.

Homuth hopes to make a positive impact on the city and believes his biggest challenge will be learning the streets in Suffolk’s 430 square miles.

Four additional recruits – Duane Carter, Jeffrey Harris, James Goben and Brandon Swan – are beginning the police academy Monday.