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Six new Troopers assigned to two-county area

SoVaNow.com / December 23, 2013


Virginia State Police added 80 new troopers to its ranks on Friday, at the 120th Basic Session Commencement at Meadow Event Park in Caroline County.

The graduating troopers come from every corner of the Commonwealth, as well as Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Joining the ranks of Virginia State Police in Mecklenburg County are Jeremiah Lee Criner of Galax, Beverly Monique De Loatch of Martinsville, and Mark Littleton Gardner III of Reidsville, N.C. Brunswick County also gains three new troopers: Charles Lee Dunn IV from Dewitt, Matthew Scott Ezell of Bracey and Lucas Foster Haynes of Stoneville, N.C.

The new Troopers will patrol Virginia roads starting Christmas week.

Members of the 120th Basic Session are the first class to be reintroduced to the “Probate Phase.” The probate phase, which allows recruits to train in the field prior to attending the Academy, was commonplace in the Department for all incoming trooper-trainees until the 1990s.

For the 120th Basic School, the reinstatement of this phase, necessitated trainees complete two and half weeks of introductory training at the Academy before being assigned to a Field Training Officer (FTO). The probate trainees then spent anywhere from four to 12 weeks in the field riding with an FTO before returning to the Academy in June to receive formal, academic instruction and extensive, advanced field training on various subjects.

“By probating in the field first, we are enriching a trainee’s perspective of the realistic demands of the law enforcement profession, while at the same time providing them with weeks of hands-on, valuable, work experience with a veteran trooper,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “This transition in advance of entering the Academy familiarizes a trainee with Department terminology, forms, and state code, as well as sharpens their work skills. It also increases retention rates within a class, as the trainee develops a core understanding of the unique demands associated with being a state trooper.”

Selected from a pool of more than 1,100 applicants, the members of the 120th Basic Session began probating Feb. 25, and continued with 30 weeks of academic, physical and practical training at the Academy June 24. In all, the new troopers have received 1,296 hours of classroom and field instruction encompassing more than 100 different subjects. Subjects include judicial procedures, juvenile and traffic law, firearms, self-defense, crowd control and first-aid, to name a few.

Following graduation, the new troopers will report to their individual duty assignments across Virginia next week, and begin their final phase of training. Each trooper will spend an additional six weeks with a field training officer (FTO) learning his or her new patrol area.

Prior to starting a career with the Virginia State Police, many of the new troopers served with other law enforcement agencies and/or with a branch of the military. The 120th Basic Session yields more than 34 years of previous law enforcement and corrections experience, as well as almost 119 years of previous military service.





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Comments

Why hire out of state? People not from here don't understand rural VA!

Comments

Reidsville and Stoneville NC are hardly big-city, AP. They're rural and small-town type people there too.

Though I can certainly understand anyone wanting to get out of Michigan. Let's hope they don't bring their Michigan "attitude" with them- almost everyone I've ever known from Michigan was convinced we down here were all ignorant hillbillies. Even after they'd lived here long enough to see different, we were still Gomer Pyle to them.

Wish these new Troopers the best. Theirs is a thankless job, especially the ones assigned to Mecklenburg, having to fool with I85 and the human dregs that travel it.

Comments

Doesn't matter if they are out of state or not. Didn't you read they chose from over 1,000 applicants. Probably not enough applicants from Virginia met the qualifications. Can't hire the ones who don't apply. Thank God for the ones interested in protecting our state. And if you know your geography, the troopers from North Carolina are actually from counties that border our great state so they probably understand rural VA!!


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