Police promote seven

Published 9:40 pm Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Suffolk Police Department promoted seven supervisors to new roles during a ceremony in City Council chambers Tuesday.

The ceremony included the promotion of the department’s newest deputy chief, Maj. James Buie. As the ranking officer being promoted, tradition called for him to give a speech during the ceremony.

He used most of his time bragging on his new grandson, 1-week-old Grayson Buie. But he also thanked his family for their support throughout his 20 years in the department.

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“Without that support, none of us are sitting here,” Buie said.

He also bragged about the department. “It’s one of the finest police departments in the state of Virginia,” he said.

Police Chief Thomas Bennett also thanked the family members in attendance for their support.

“I don’t think any of these people would be here without the support of loved ones,” he said.

He gave the supervisors some words of advice, including not to put paperwork before people, to communicate and to listen to their employees’ good ideas.

“Being a police officer is a very difficult job,” Bennett said. “Being a police supervisor is an even more difficult job.”

Buie has been in the job of deputy chief of criminal investigations since Jan. 1. He was hired by the Suffolk Police Department in 1996. In 2000, he was named Officer of the Year. He has served in a number of different units, including special investigations and special operations. Buie is a graduate of West Point Leadership School, the Professional Executive Leadership School, Top Gun and the FBI National Academy.

Mark Erie and John McCarley were promoted to captains during the ceremony.

Erie was hired in 1999 and was named Officer of the Second Quarter in 2002. He has served in uniform patrol, internal affairs and criminal investigations. He now serves as commander of the Criminal Investigations Unit and oversees the detective bureau, special investigations and crime scene investigation.

McCarley was hired in 2002. He has served in capacities including investigations, internal affairs, SWAT tactical commander and more. During his service, he has been deployed with the U.S. Air Force and retired from the Air National Guard last year. He now serves as the captain of the administrative division and oversees communications, central records, property and evidence, quartermaster and the fugitive unit.

Isaac Lopez and David Wellford were promoted to lieutenant.

Lopez was hired in 2005. He was named Officer of the Year in 2007 and has served as an investigator in the special investigations unit as well as in ancillary positions such as SWAT, Surveillance Team and Mobile Field Force Unit. He is set to graduate from Old Dominion University in May. He now serves as the Sector II midnight shift commander.

Wellford was hired in 2003 after retiring from the U.S. Navy as a chief petty officer after 20 years. He has served as a field training officer, detective and more and was the first executive sergeant working directly for the police chief. He is the first extra duty coordinator and has reviewed thousands of case files and attended court review for the department as part of his duties as executive sergeant. He now is the evening shift commander for Precinct 1.

Thomas Cain and Antonio Diggs were promoted to sergeant.

Cain was hired in 2004 and has served as a field training officer, on the Neighborhood Enforcement Team and on the special investigations unit. He is also a staff instructor at the Hampton Roads Criminal Justice Training Academy. He is now the Precinct 1 evening shift street supervisor.

Diggs was hired in 2010 and was named Officer of the Fourth Quarter in 2012. He has served on the Neighborhood Enforcement Team and been recognized as “Top Cop.” He now serves as the Precinct 1 midnight street supervisor.