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New officers sworn in

The Suffolk Police Department swore in three new officers during their badge pinning ceremony Thursday morning.

Friends and family gathered to celebrate William Culpepper, Shamar James and Shane Turner as they took their oaths from the Clerk of the Circuit Court Randy Carter.

Maj. Steve Patterson and City Manager Patrick Roberts addressed the new officers and gave them words of wisdom before they take their next step — field training.

“Before us are the newest officers. They have had frustrations and went through trials and tribulations. They are stressed over standards and tests,” Patterson said.

The way all the officers got through the stress of the academy was with the help of family and loved ones, Patterson said.

Integrity, hard work and knowledge were the words of wisdom Patterson gave to the officers before the conclusion of the ceremony.

“You cannot jeopardize your integrity,” Patterson said. “The people need to know that at 2 a.m., they can trust your decision. Always tell the truth, because it affects all of us wearing the badge.”

Roberts reminded the three of the core values that the Suffolk Police Department lives by before the celebration.

He asked the question “What is our service to be?”

Roberts wanted everyone to be inspired by the commitment that the three officers made.

“The city of Suffolk is growing rapidly, and it is an opportunity to do better,” Roberts said. “You will be called upon to enable and inspire, but you will also be called to intervene.”

All three officers were happy to be pinned by their loved ones and move on to the next phase of their training.

Culpepper shared the moment with his father and his fiancée, and he couldn’t wipe the smile off of his face.

“It feels amazing,” Culpepper said. “I get the chance to make everyone proud, and I am looking forward to understanding Suffolk more.”

Part of the additional training includes being tazed and sprayed with OC pepper spray. While most new officers wouldn’t be excited for that, Officer James is ready to take the challenge and get it over with.

“I’m happy, and I’m getting tazed and sprayed with OC spray,” James said. “I love it here in Suffolk.”

Officer Turner was congratulated by his whole family, and he is ready to move on and serve the city.

“I am really looking forward to further educating myself,” Turner said.