Nine officers receive promotions

Published 7:29 pm Friday, January 26, 2018

The Suffolk Police Department honored nine officers for promotions received earlier in the year at a promotional ceremony on Thursday afternoon.

“Each one of them set their milestones and goals to get where they are. It wasn’t just checking a box. They had to put a lot of time and effort into it,” Maj. Gerald Brandasse said. “Each one of them I would say, I don’t think they’re done yet. This is the first, second or third step in where they’re going. None of them are finished with their upward movement.”

Cassandra Garvin as promoted to captain, and Lance Callis was promoted to lieutenant. Two officers, Samantha Bradshaw and Casey Thomas, were promoted to sergeant. Five officers — James Babor, Rachelann Cain, Andrew Fenneman, Paul Helvestine and Timothy Mason — were promoted to master police officer.

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All nine police officers were described as determined and dedicated by their superiors, and the speakers all praised them for the hard work they’ve put into the department over the years.

“Career advancement does not happen by accident,” Chief Thomas Bennett said. “It takes hard work. It takes intelligence. It takes dedication to your job. It takes determination to get your job done.”

Before their families pinned their badges, Randy Carter, Clerk of the Circuit Court, administered the oath of office by rank. Immediately following, husbands, wives and children had the opportunity to pin the badges on their loved ones.

Many department heads from the city of Suffolk and City Council were in attendance, and Mayor Linda Johnson gave her remarks after the ceremony.

“It is indeed an honor and a privilege to be here today for today’s promotional ceremony. For some of you, I’ve known you briefly, and for some of you, I’ve known you for a very long time,” Johnson said. “I just want to say to each and every one of you, congratulations from the City Council, all the citizens of Suffolk, and as your mayor I am so very proud of you.”

The mayor and Chief Bennett spoke of the hard work necessary for the police force. Both praised the officers on their ability to do a difficult job.

“What you do is a hard job, and it is often one devoid of platitudes and you often don’t hear ‘thank you.’ While you’re out helping people, some people don’t even realize they are being helped,” Johnson said. “But you keep doing what you do, and you do it with such grace and such honor.”

Per tradition, the most senior promoted officer had the opportunity to give a few words before the benediction. Garvin thanked her family, husband and parents for their support, and echoed the thanks to all the families of the newly promoted officers.