ARLINGTON, Va. – In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Arlington County Police Department added 15 new officers to its ranks, following the graduation of Session 142 from the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Training Academy (NVCJA) and their completion of additional, supplementary local training. At a non-traditional, socially-distant swearing-in ceremony on July 31, 2020, the new officers took their oath to serve and protect the residents, businesses and visitors of Arlington County. The new officers will now complete the Department’s field training program before commencing solo patrol in the County.
The new officers comprising Session 142 are resilient and flexible, having spent seven to nine weeks of their Academy training in a distance learning format. Despite the challenges and complications associated with the abrupt transition to distance learning, the new officers displayed a high level of discipline and decorum. Upon returning to face-to-face instruction, the new officers completed their defensive and control tactics training, additional practical and scenario training exercises, and their mandated skills training in emergency vehicle operations and firearms. In total, each new officer logged approximately 800 hours of basic training at the NVCJA. Following completion of their basic training curriculum, each officer completed additional, supplementary local training to reinforce concepts taught at NVCJA and teach material specific to policing in Arlington County. This training also provided additional practical training opportunities.
This class is reflective of the Department’s efforts to recruit with diverse demographic, work, geographic and educational backgrounds. Four of the officers have prior military experience and three come to ACPD having previously worked for another law enforcement agency. At the academy, the officers excelled, both academically and in leadership positions. Officers in the class were recognized for the following achievements at graduation: Directors Award for Academic Excellence; A Section Vice President; C Section Vice President; 2nd Place Academics; 1st Place, Firearms; and 2nd Place, Emergency Vehicle Operations Course.
Officer K. Clark 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.
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 academy 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 three 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.