New officers pinned

Published 11:01 pm Friday, January 27, 2012

Seven new Suffolk Police Department officers take the oath of office shortly before they receive their new badges. The officers recently completed 17 weeks of training at the Hampton Roads Criminal Justice Training Academy.

The Suffolk Police Department welcomed seven new officers into its ranks Thursday morning with a badge-pinning ceremony.

“This is such an exciting day for you, and equally for us because we’re putting more officers on the street,” Mayor Linda T. Johnson said. “We know this is not an easy profession you have chosen. I think it shows a huge amount of humility and integrity and willingness to serve.”

The new officers are Kurt Carter, David Gawryluk, Khandi Johnson, Carlene Raymond, Ricardo Serrat Jr., Darnicia Smith and Casey Thomas.

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“Thank you for what you’re about to do in our city,” City Manager Selena Cuffee-Glenn said during the ceremony.

The seven officers completed 17 weeks of training at the Hampton Roads Criminal Justice Training Academy. It included physical training as well as knowledge tests that required a score of 100 to pass, Police Chief Thomas Bennett said.

“You’ve done it, and we’re all very proud of you,” he said.

Family members of the new officers pinned their new badges on them during Thursday morning’s ceremony. A separate graduation service was held that night for all the academy graduates.

Bennett said the officers now would undergo additional training specific to the Suffolk Police Department and work with several different field training officers before being sent out on their own.

“Take the good from all of them and customize your own policing style,” he said.

He also admonished the new officers to be honest.

“There’s nothing more important in our line of work than honesty and integrity,” he said. “I have to know when something happens that you’re telling me the absolute truth.”

During her remarks, Johnson also thanked the family members in attendance.

“We know you are taking on a burden,” she said. “Thank you for shouldering part of that burden that keeps our city safe.”