New police officers on Suffolk’s streets

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 8, 2005

With the graduation of four officers from the academy and seven more about to come on board, Suffolk’s streets soon will see more police patrol.

The officers graduated from the Hampton Roads Criminal Justice Training Academy’s Basic Law Enforcement class on June 16.

While at the academy, the new officers received training in firearms, driving, defensive tactics, accident investigation, criminal and traffic laws, patrol techniques, first aid and CPR.

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Since changing the training location to the Hampton Roads Academy instead of the Chesapeake training site, Suffolk is able to send officers in for training four times a year, said Lt. Debbie George, spokeswoman for the Suffolk Police Department. Only two training sessions a year were offered in the past.

&uot;Now that we’re a part of the Hampton Roads Academy, we can continue to hire until we fill the openings,&uot; she added. &uot;Currently, there are two openings and eight new positions approved.&uot;

The four new officers have returned to the department, and are currently attending five weeks of in-house training.

Once the classroom portion is complete, the officers will spend several weeks training with Field Training Officers.

The new officers include:

Officer Duane Carter, 49, who is a native of Philadelphia, Penn.

Carter, also retired military, advised that while the police academy was demanding, his military experience prepared him for much of the process.

Carter currently lives in Virginia Beach with his wife of 15 years, Ruth.

He has two adult children and a 9-year old daughter, Alannah.

Officer Robert Swan, 23, a native of Portsmouth, said he joined the Suffolk department because of the city’s growth potential.

He feels his biggest challenge when working the streets of Suffolk will be working with juveniles.

Swan and his wife, April, currently reside in Portsmouth.

Officer James Goben, 41, an Illinois native, and his wife, Carman and daughter, Lindsay, have lived in Suffolk for the past five years.

Goben, who is retired military, said the K-9 Unit and Detective Bureau are areas of future interest.

Officer Jeffrey Harris, 28, is from Buffalo, N.Y., but currently lives in Portsmouth.

He has an interest in narcotics investigations and hopes to have a positive impact on the citizens of Suffolk.

Harris’ parents are James and Barbara Harris.

The police department has seven additional recruits who started at the police academy

on July 5, including Devon Booth, Ralph Pabon, William Bradshaw, Tasha Sweeden, William Maxwell, Isaac Lopez and William Hoyle.