Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Richmond Police Welcomes 19 New Officers

Four of the five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces are represented in the Richmond Police Department’s 104th Basic Recruit Class: Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.

For most, as the old recruiting commercial used to say, their military experience was “a great place to start.” But now they’re looking for an even greater finish for their careers through law enforcement.

“I want to help people when they really need help and remove people from society when they endanger the innocent,” said Andre Guevara, who was part of the Army’s Infantry and served in Iraq.

He and his 18 fellow recruits will do just that after they are commissioned as Richmond Police officers 10 a.m. Friday, July 30, at Virginia Union University’s Coburn Hall, 1500 N. Lombardy St. Keynote speaker for the graduation, which is open to the public, will be Byron C. Marshall, chief administrative officer for the City of Richmond.

Some of the recruits bring policing experience with them from their service to their country. “I was law enforcement in the military and wanted to continue helping my community,” said Paul Campbell, who was part of the Air Force Security Forces. This falls in line with the Richmond Police community policing philosophy of putting officers in touch with the residents to better help the officers help them and building community partnerships.

Those with military experience also cite camaraderie as the key that drew them to policing. “I want the feeling of brotherhood I experienced in the Marine Corps. There’s nothing like it,” said Christopher Shore, who did two tours of duty in Iraq. “As officers, we know someone will always have our back.”

After 28 weeks of training at the Department’s Academy, the recruits are now ready to join the ranks of Richmond Police. They will immediately begin patrols with a field training officer for the next eight weeks.

Chief Bryan T. Norwood and Richmond Police congratulate and welcome:

· Paul Campbell of Newport News
· Thomasina Cunningham of the Eastern Shore
· Michael Early of Richmond
· Farrhard El-Amin of King William
· Andre Guevara of Queens, N.Y.
· Keir Hinton of Norfolk
· Bradley Hirst of Gloucester City, N.J.
· Robert Knight of Charleston, S.C.
· Kevin Knudsen of Richmond
· LaTosha Lewis of Virginia Beach
· Jonathan Nathanson of Reston
· Andrew Nicholson of Centreville
· Willie O’Neil of Richmond
· Joachin Okonkwo of Washington, D.C.
· Doran Preston of Richmond
· Jason Pritchard of Mechanicsville
· Julio Rodriguez of Richmond
· Christopher Shore of Farmington, N.C.
· Philippa Vaughan of Richmond