Congratulations, new officers

Published 9:25 pm Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Each officer sworn into the Suffolk Police Department goes through the same rigorous training.

Candidates face months of physical, psychological and skill-based tests. It’s an intense and stressful process, but one that creates a knowledgeable and capable force that is entrusted with the safety of Suffolk.

Future police officers must learn to deal with criminals and relate to victims, they must master state and city laws and must swear to uphold those laws.

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But there is another role police officers play on the streets of Suffolk. It is perhaps a less visible role, but one that is equally important. Once Suffolk’s police officers hit the streets to serve and protect, they also become role models.

We see officers shaping our children through community events, such as the annual National Night Out. They are in Suffolk’s schools, helping to guide the future of Suffolk and teaching students to keep themselves safe. They even shape future officers, through the Youth Public Safety Academy, which introduces young people to the role of police officers and firefighters.

Last Thursday, the city added 11 new officers to its police department during a swearing-in ceremony in the City Council chamber at Suffolk City Hall. These new officers join a capable and dedicated force that Mayor Linda T. Johnson described as the best anywhere.

“You have got to have steady truth,” Deputy Chief Steve Patterson said during the ceremony. “Above all, keep your integrity.”

That’s a fine piece of advice for these new officers, who will now participate in six weeks of post-academy training and 12 more weeks of field training. When they’ve completed that training, we are confident the importance of Patterson’s words will continue to resonate with them.

Congratulations to Suffolk’s newest sworn police officers, James Capehart, Kyle Gosney, Janel Farmer, Kyle Hall, Corey Hubbard, Paul Powell, William Price, Matthew Schilling, Andrew Shaffer, Trevor Tello and Kyle Valois.