New stripes

Published 9:48 pm Monday, November 29, 2010

Suffolk Police Lt. Robert Ross is pinned by his wife, Cheryl, and granddaughter, Megan Sook.

Suffolk police promote two officers

Two members of the Suffolk Police Department traded their old badges for new ones with higher-ranking titles Monday.

Lt. Robert Ross and Sgt. Isaac Lopez accepted their promotions from the ranks of sergeant and detective, respectively, during a ceremony in City Council chambers.

Email newsletter signup

“This is certainly a good day,” City Manager Selena Cuffee-Glenn said at the ceremony. “Today, we celebrate your reaching a successful milestone in your careers.”

Ross joined the department in 1989 and was assigned to uniform patrol. He was named the department’s Officer of the Year in 1991 and transferred to the Investigative Services Division as a detective in July 1993. He was promoted to sergeant and again assigned to uniform patrol in 2000. In 2007, he was transferred to the position of criminal investigations sergeant. He has a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech. He and his wife Cheryl have a daughter, Sheena, and two granddaughters, Megan and Mackenzie.

Lopez joined the department in 2005 and was assigned to uniform patrol in Sector One. He was named Officer of the Year in 2007 and was transferred to the special investigations unit. He also became a member of the department’s SWAT team. He and his wife Cathy have one daughter, Jaxon Rose.

Police Chief Thomas Bennett commanded the men on their achievement and gave them some tips on supervising.

“There’s nothing worse than a supervisor that doesn’t make decisions,” Bennett told the men. To their wives, Bennett said, “There’s no doubt in my mind that a lot of their success is due to your support.”

Following Suffolk Police Department tradition, Ross, the ranking member being promoted, spoke to the crowd of fellow department members, city officials and family members.

“I’d like to thank God for giving myself and Sgt. Lopez this opportunity,” he said, adding his thanks for family members, friends and coworkers who have influenced the two men. “Without all your input in our lives, we would not be the people that we are.”

Ross also recounted the changes in the department since he began patrolling the streets. In 1989, he said, the entire city was sometimes covered by as few as five police officers each night, and one dispatcher handled all the calls for service. He also recalled the changes in technology the department has seen, from only a few working radios to laptop computers and cell phones in every car.

“Things were a little bit different,” he said.

Each of the men took the oath of office during the ceremony. Their wives, along with Lopez’s daughter and Ross’ granddaughter, pinned their badges.