RICHMOND — The Virginia State Police is celebrating the addition of 89 new troopers to its ranks with the graduation of the 118th Basic Session on Oct. 19 at Meadow Event Park in Caroline County.
The 118th Basic Session is not only the department’s largest graduating class in Virginia State Police history, but also lays claim to having the largest number of female graduates. Altogether, 13 women were presented their diplomas at the commencement exercises.
In addition, the graduating class also includes several born outside the country, to include Puerto Rico,Kenya, Nairobi and Poland.
“We are proud to see such diversity building among our ranks,” said Col. W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police superintendent. “
Included among the graduates is Matthew Tristan Conley, of Spotsylvania. He is assigned to serve Stafford County.
Selected from a pool of more than 1,800 applicants, the members of the 118th Basic Session began a rigorous 37-week training session Feb. 27, 2012. During the last eight months, the new troopers have received 1,690 hours of classroom and field instruction encompassing more than 100 different subjects to include judicial procedures, juvenile and traffic law, firearms, self-defense, crowd control and first-aid.
On Oct. 22, the new troopers will report to their individual duty assignments acrossVirginiaand begin their final phase of training. 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.
“Today’s celebration is also bittersweet for many of these graduates and the entire State Police family, as our department still mourns the loss of Trooper Andrew Fox,” said Flaherty. Trooper Fox was struck and killed Oct. 5 while directing traffic on a special assignment near MeadowEventPark.
Fox was a defensive tactics instructor and taught approximately a third of the 118th Basic Session students during their academy training.
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 graduating troopers come from across the Commonwealth, as well asAlabama,Kansas,Pennsylvania,Maryland,New Jersey,New York,North Carolina,OhioandTexas.
The department is currently seeking qualified applicants for the position of trooper. All interested applicants are encouraged to contact the Virginia State Police Recruitment Office at the toll-free number 1-866-877-2329 or visit the department’s web site at vsp.virginia.gov.
— From press release