Suffolk Police Department promotes 17

Published 10:19 pm Thursday, February 28, 2019

The Suffolk Police Department honored 17 personnel for promotions they received earlier in the year during a promotional ceremony Thursday at City Hall.

“It takes you to keep our community as safe as it is today,” said Mayor Linda T. Johnson.

Alfred Chandler was promoted to major and Jesse Epperson was promoted to captain, while three othes — Cheryl Balzer, Jeffrey Lurie and James Sobers — were promoted to lieutenant.

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Five more officers — Wallace Weatherly, Ashley Shockley, Aaron Smith, Jose Rivera and William Bradshaw — were promoted to sergeant.

Another six officers received promotions to master police officer. Those included John Lampe, Jay Burton, Benjamin Johnson, Heather Linville, Ryan Linville and Christopher Scherer. Another officer, Jodi Cuffee, was promoted to communications lead officer.

The mayor gave three reasons officers continue to do what they do — they’re honorable, they have the desire to make the world better and they have unimpeachable character.

“It’s your life,” the mayor said. “You make it your life, and it becomes your family’s life as well.”

Clerk of the Circuit Court Randy Carter administered the oath of office by rank, and immediately afterward, spouses and children of the officers were able to pin the badges on their loved ones.

Police Chief Thomas Bennett credited hard work, a little luck, being at the right place at the right time, and family support as key factors in the promotions.

“You’re dedicated to your job, you’re determined to do a good job and (you) provide outstanding service to our citizens,” Bennett said.

As is tradition, the most senior promoted officer received the opportunity to speak before the benediction. In this case that was Chandler, who said the day was a good one for all those promoted, and offered a special thanks to the families who have supported the officers.

“It is a day that we promotees are officially recognized for being granted the opportunity to lead the incredibly great, caring and talented men and women of this agency,” Chandler said. “As a wonderful bonus, we have the privilege of sharing this great honor with those who helped us reach this great milestone in our career.”