ARLINGTON, Va. – Family, friends and colleagues gathered on Monday, June 14, 2021, to watch the Arlington County Police Department’s 23 newest officers graduate from Session 144 of the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Training Academy. During the graduation, the officers took their oath to serve and protect the Arlington community and safeguard the Constitutional rights of all. Academy graduation is a significant milestone in their path to becoming solo police officers in Arlington County, a process that spans approximately one year. As part of their ongoing training cycle, the 23 newly graduated officers will complete local and field training programs before they begin solo patrol in the County.
“I am proud to welcome Arlington’s newest officers as they begin their careers as law enforcement professionals,” said Chief Andy Penn. “Each has been entrusted to care for this community, to help those in need and be fair and impartial truth seekers as they maintain public safety. I commend these officers on choosing to lead a life of service and I have the utmost confidence they will perform their duties in a way that continues to build the public’s trust and confidence.”
The officers who make up Session 144 are reflective of the Department’s commitment to seeking individuals from all backgrounds who possess the necessary qualifications to serve Arlington’s diverse and inclusive community. The class, which is made up of 14 males and nine females, includes three officers who are military veterans and four with previous law enforcement experience at other agencies. All 23 recruits hold higher education degrees, including four with advanced degrees. Seven of the officers speak additional languages including Spanish, Russian, Arabic and German. The class hails from 10 different states.
Session 144 has proven to be a dedicated, committed, and focused class. At the academy, they excelled in academics and leadership. Most notably:
- Officer T. Austad served as the class President and presented the Class President’s Speech at the Academy Graduation
- Officers M. Theil served as class Vice President – B Section
- Officer A. Torres served as class Vice President – C Section
- Officer A. Paster received the Director’s Award for Academic Excellence
- Officer A. Torres was the recipient of the prestigious Thomas L. Shaw Award, one of the NVCJA’s highest honors. The award is named in honor of Thomas L. Shaw, a leader in the field of criminal justice training in the Northern Virginia region. For more than half of his 36-year career, from 1982-2000, Mr. Shaw served as the executive director of the NVCJA. The award recipient is selected by the basic training staff as the officer who they feel best exhibits the potential to meet the standards for professionalism, dedication and leadership set forth by Mr. Shaw during his career.
The new officers were recognized with the following additional achievements at graduation:
- 1st Place – Physical Training (female)
- 2nd Place – Physical Training (female)
- 3rd Place – Physical Training (female)
- 1st Place – Physical Training (male)
- 2nd Place – Physical Training (male)
- 2nd Place – Emergency Vehicle Operations
- Physical Training – Push Up Record
About the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Training Academy (NVCJA)
After being hired by the Department, the new officers began their training at the NVCJA, a regional academy offering high quality, professional training to recruit officers who will go on to serve agencies in Northern Virginia. Recruit officers enrolled in the basic training program complete over 800 hours of training curriculum, which orients them to the diverse day-to-day challenges experienced by law enforcement personnel while on the job. In addition to basic training, NVCJA offers in-service training programs to officers throughout their careers.
What Comes Next for the New Officers
The new officers will now complete the Department’s 12-week Field Training Program. During field training, the officers work alongside a Field Training Officer, who is responsible for mentoring, teaching and evaluating them as they begin to apply knowledge gained during basic training at the NVCJA to real world situations they encounter when responding to calls for service. Following successful completion of field training, the officers begin solo patrol.
Starting Your Career with ACPD
The Human Resources Management Section recruits qualified applicants to join future academy sessions throughout the year. We serve a diverse, urban and engaged community, with an emphasis on community policing and problem solving in support of the departmental key initiatives: community engagement, transportation safety, and crime prevention and control. The men and women of our Department work and live by a set of core values: courage, competence, commitment, compassion, restraint, respect, and integrity. Learn more and start your career today by visiting ACPD.jobs.