The Virginia State Police presented three new recruits to the area on Wednesday, Nov. 20. Trooper Benjamin Rhodes of Bracey, Trooper Jabreia Clark of South Hill, and Trooper Joshua Pelletier of LaCrosse received their diplomas from the State Police Training Academy on Oct. 4.
The three of them were among 59 trainees, who completed more than 1300 hours of classroom and field instruction in over 100 different subjects. These subjects include defensive tactics, crime scene investigation, ethics and leadership, survival Spanish, police professionalism, firearms, judicial procedures, officer survival, cultural diversity, and crisis management.
After graduation the troopers spend six months with a training officer in the area that they are assigned. Rhodes and Clark are stationed in Mecklenburg while Pelletier is in Lunenburg County.
The troopers all agreed that they made the decision to join the state police to help the community and make a difference.
“I’ve always kind of been geared towards first responder stuff and I’ve always wanted to be a cop, since I was little.” says Pelletier, who comes from a military family and has served as a volunteer fireman.
Each of them hope to have a positive impact by changing the stigma around law enforcement.
“We want to teach people not to be afraid of the police officer,” Clark says. “I want people to trust us and build a better relationship with the public again.”
Rhodes added “Like she said we want people to think a little different.” Trooper Rhodes also strives to help someone who has been arrested to take steps towards not letting it happen again.
Their 29 weeks at the academy were long and tough but they pulled through and earned the right to call themselves a Virginia State Trooper.
Sergeant Sidney Leslie says “We’re happy to have them. They applied for and were hired for specific vacancies in this area so if there’s any young people out there that are interested in careers as state police, they can apply for any vacancies in this area.” Leslie also added that he wanted everyone to be safe and take extra care while traveling over the holidays.
Anyone interested in applying for the Virginia State Police should visit vp.virginia.gov.