RICHMOND, Va. – On Friday, the members of the 121st Basic Session graduate from the Virginia State Police Academy in Richmond. Then on Monday, the new Virginia State Police troopers will begin their career on patrol in counties and along interstates across the Commonwealth.
The 44 graduates began their rigorous 37-week training session in December 2013. During that time, the new troopers received instruction in more than 100 different subjects spanning hundreds of hours. Academy training included such areas as crime scene investigation, survival Spanish, judicial procedures, self defense, cultural diversity and firearms.
The graduates’ final phase of training begins Monday when the new troopers report to their respective duty assignments. Each trooper will spend a minimum of six weeks with a field training officer learning his or her new patrol area and day-to-day duties.
Among the 44 new graduates is Augusta County resident, Trooper Hockaday W. Jones. Prior to joining the state police, Jones, 31, of Swoope, served two years with the Waynesboro Police Department as a Reserve Officer. Jones reports Monday to Shenandoah County for his first patrol assignment as trooper.
Trooper Brandon A. Tester returns home to Page County when he reports to work Monday. Tester, 24, of Stanley, served five years with the U.S. Army prior to joining the state police, during which he served in Operation Enduring Freedom. His service earned him both a Combat Action Badge and a Joint Services Commendation Medal. Tester joined the Department “to serve my community and protect the citizens of the Commonwealth.” He also served as the Basic Session Vice President.
For Trooper G. Adam Shahan, 35, of Stephens City, becoming a trooper was a long-time coming. “When I moved to Virginia 11 years ago, it was my desire to work for Virginia State Police…as I was always told how squared away Virginia troopers were.” Shahan’s returns home Monday to Frederick County for his first patrol assignment.
Also among the graduates is former Rockingham County resident, Trooper Valerie O. Evans. Prior to joining state police, Evans, 33, served one year with the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office. She earned a degree from Radford University in exercise sport and health education. She joined the state police in order to “train with the best and be one of the best.” She won the female physical fitness award for her class. Evans reports Monday to her first patrol assignment in Amherst County.
As the need for highly-skilled and capable law enforcement officers increases, the Department continues to seek qualified applicants for the trooper and commercial vehicle enforcement officer positions. All interested applicants are encouraged to contact the Virginia State Police Recruitment Office visit the department’s website.
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