VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office held its 38th Basic Academy graduation ceremony Thursday after nine new deputies successfully completed 16 weeks of training.
The graduating class includes three military service members, a former New York Police Department auxiliary sergeant, a pastry chef, a former stay-at-home mom, a Goldendoodle breeder and a former college football coach. Five of the nine graduates have college degrees and they come from as far away as Portugal.
The commencement speaker was Virginia Beach City Manager Dave Hansen.
“You have answered ‘the call’ and are joining one of the noblest, most demanding and, hopefully, personally rewarding professions there is,” Hansen said. “Law enforcement in Virginia Beach is highly respected and critically important to our exceptional quality of life.”
The sheriff’s office training includes training in Virginia law, ethics, cultural diversity, firearms, defensive tactics, emergency vehicle operations and first aid.
For the first time, the deputies also completed search and rescue training at the Virginia Beach Fire & EMS Training Center, so they can assist if needed. The graduates also completed rigorous physical fitness training and courses on the Sheriff’s Office various functions: Corrections, Court Transportation and Security, and Civil Process.
They each meet the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services requirements for graduation and have received their Basic Jailer and Civil Process certifications.
The deputies will be assigned to the Virginia Beach Correctional Center and bring the number of active, sworn Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office deputies to 422.
The application process for the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office is competitive. In the 2015-2016 fiscal year, 206 people applied. 64 were hired.