Four new officers pinned

Published 9:58 pm Monday, September 12, 2011

New officers in the Suffolk Police Department — Matthew Faubion, Hector Rosario, Eric Richardson and Lamanda Meekins — take the oath during a badge pinning ceremony Monday.

Four new officers took their places in the Suffolk Police Department at a badge-pinning ceremony Monday morning.

Just one day after America commemorated the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, an event where police and other first responders played a pivotal role, the officers were pinned by members of their family in the ceremony in City Council chambers.

The new officers — Matthew Faubion, Lamanda Meekins, Eric Richardson and Hector Rosario — recently completed 17 weeks of training at the Hampton Roads Criminal Justice Training Academy. They took the oath from Randy Carter, clerk of the Circuit Court, during the ceremony.

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Mayor Linda T. Johnson spoke at the ceremony, relating her own experiences with a compassionate Suffolk police officer who pulled her over for a traffic violation many years ago.

“There is a time for compassion,” she told the new officers. “There’s also a time for being tough.”

She also encouraged the new officers to surround themselves with positive things and people.

“It is so important to have positive things in your life, especially when you’re going to be seeing so many things that aren’t positive,” she said.

City Manager Selena Cuffee-Glenn echoed the mayor’s support of the law enforcement officers and the contribution they make to quality of life in the city.

“Because of you, we can have a city that is strong and vibrant,” she said.

Police Chief Thomas Bennett said the officers now would enter what is called “post-academy,” when everything they learn is Suffolk-specific.

“Everything you learned in the academy, we kind of customize it and teach you how we do business here in Suffolk,” Bennett said.

After post-academy comes the most important part of training, when each new officer is paired up with a field training officer.

“That’s where the rubber meets the road,” Bennett said.

He also offered advice to the new officers, such as maintaining honesty and integrity, learning from mistakes, giving their best, continuing their education and finding a mentor within the department.