Newport News officers graduate from training academy

Jordan Crawford | 8/1/2013, 3:19 p.m.
Newport News law enforcement celebrated the beginning of a new chapter at the Ferguson Center of the Arts.

Professionalism, integrity, dedication, and excellence; Newport News law enforcement celebrated the beginning of a new chapter Wednesday, at the Ferguson Center of the Arts.

Twenty-two new police officers were joined by their families, friends, and other members of the department as they celebrated their graduation from the Newport News Police Training Academy on the campus of Christopher Newport University where some of the graduates attended school.

This was only the seventh academy graduation since the program’s first graduation ceremony in 2009.

The graduating officers had the pleasure of being addressed and sworn in by The Honorable Barry G. Logsdon, Juvenile Domestic Relations District Court Judge.

The ceremony included the department’s Color Guard and the Newport News Police Pipes and Drums Band as well as a speech from Delegate David Yancey, from the Virginia House of Delegates, and remarks from class representative Brendon Walzak.

After being sworn in, each officer was joined on stage by a person of their choice who pinned the new badge onto their police uniform.

The NNPTA was once a subsidiary of the Hampton Roads Regional Criminal Justice Training Academy. Just prior to the NNPTA’s first class in 2009, the department was notified that its application to the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services to become an independent academy had been approved.

In 2012, the NNPTA was awarded accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.

This ceremony culminated nearly six months of extremely rigorous training both in the classroom and in practical scenarios.

Officer Jennifer Mitchell has lived all over the United States. She moved to Hampton in 2010 and joined the Newport News Sheriff’s Office as a Deputy Sheriff until she wanted to pursue bigger dreams and had the great opportunity to join the Newport News Police Department. She would one day like to become Homicide Detective.

“I would like to thank all my family and friends for the push and support through my journey,” she said.

The graduates will be assigned to field training officers for additional training before being released to independent patrol. Following their field training they will each be assigned to one of the department’s three precincts.