Two join state police ranks
Published 10:33 pm Monday, November 14, 2016
Locals Nigel A.J. Guishard and Michael D. Harville were among the 44 newly admitted state police troopers earlier this month.
Guishard will serve the Chesapeake, Portsmouth and Suffolk areas and Harville will serve Southampton County.
Guishard, a Smithfield native, “always respected the law” growing up, he said. A number of his family members have served in law enforcement.
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His end goal is to become a prosecutor, but he felt it was necessary to get experience as a law enforcement officer first.
“The best prosecutors are former police officers,” he said.
Guishard, 24, graduated from Virginia Tech in May of last year, with a degree in political science with a focus in legal studies. He decided to join the state police because he wanted to challenge himself.
“I didn’t want to join a local department,” he said. “I wanted to join the best, and the Virginia State Police are the best.”
Now in his second week as a state trooper, Guishard said he is fitting in well but there is “sort of a learning curve.”
The Isle of Wight resident said he is having difficulty navigating the interstate. Coming from a small town, at times he can feel overwhelmed by the size of Chesapeake, Portsmouth and Suffolk.
“Going to the big cities, you’re just a small fish,” he said.
Guishard plans to attend law school in about two to three years, while still working as a trooper.
Harville followed in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps when he decided to pursue a career in law enforcement.
“I’ve always wanted to do it,” Harville said.
His grandfather served and retired from the Suffolk Sheriff’s Office. His father, Deputy Sheriff Eddie Harville, currently serves there.
“He’s carrying on the family destiny,” Eddie Harville said. “Most dads want to be their son’s heroes. But he’s been mine.”
The 22-year old is a graduate of Paul D. Camp Community College, with an associate degree in criminal justice.
The elder Harville originally wanted his son to consider joining Suffolk’s police department.
“But, he wanted me to chase my dream” of becoming a state trooper, Michael Harville said.
“The state police has a prestige about it, and I was drawn to that.”
At his police academy graduation, the younger Harville surprised his father by asking him to present his certificate to him.
“I knew it would mean a lot to him,” he said.
Eddie Harville said he tried to maintain his composure for most of the ceremony. But when he was informed he would be presenting the certificate, it was difficult for him to manage his emotions.
“Why are you doing this to me?” Eddie Harville joked.
Now that he’s got his feet wet, Michael Harville said he’s been able to communicate his experiences with his father and grandfather.
“We have a deeper understanding of each other’s work,” he said.
Michael is enjoying his time with the force so far; however, he said, there are some things that may take some getting used to.
“I’m getting used to the authority and learning the roads as well,” he said.
Prior to graduation, the troopers endured a rigorous 27-week training process. They received instruction in more than 100 different subjects, including crime scene investigation, cultural diversity and firearms.
For the next several weeks, troopers will be accompanied by field training officers to help learn their patrol areas and duties.