SALEM – This week, 49 new Virginia State Police troopers reported to their respective Division Headquarters to begin the final phase of their training. The 125th Basic Session celebrated their graduation Friday (March 10, 2017), at the state police Academy in North Chesterfield County. Upon receiving their diplomas, the new troopers finished a rigorous 29-week training session. They received instruction in more than 100 different subjects spanning hundreds of hours. Academy training includes such areas as crime scene investigation, survival Spanish, judicial procedures, self- defense, cultural diversity and firearms.
Nine troopers from the Salem Division begin their new assignments this week and will spend the next six weeks with a field training officer learning their new patrol areas and day-to-day duties.
Rockbridge County native Trooper Dustin A. Armentrout served five years with the Botetourt County Sheriff’s Office before joining Virginia State Police. He made the move with the goal of advancing his career. He reports for duty in Springfield.
Trooper Nicholas R. Bobbit of Bedford County followed his grandfather’s footsteps into a career with state police. He is a volunteer with National Park Service and the Stewartsville-Chamblissburg Volunteer Fire Department. He will also be heading to Springfield to assume his first assignment.
Trooper Jeremy Enquist moved to Franklin County as a child and proudly calls Virginia home. He has served as Roanoke College Campus Safety Officer and a Tazewell County Sheriff’s Deputy prior to joining state police. Becoming a trooper helped him to realize a long-time career goal of working for “Virginia’s finest [law enforcement] organization.” His first assignment is in Botetourt County.
Botetourt County is home to Trooper Thomas C. Fairburn, who’ll be headed to neighboring Bedford County for his first assignment. “I have always wanted to help people and stand up for those that can’t stand up for themselves,” he said as his reason for choosing Virginia State Police.
Trooper Kathryn M. Freeman of Roanoke joined state police “to be a part of something bigger than myself.” She received her degree in Criminology from Western Virginia University. She previously served with Western Virginia Regional Jail and Roanoke City Sheriff’s Office. Her first assignment takes her to Dulles, specifically patrolling the Dulles Greenway.
A desire “to become part of an elite group pf law enforcement officers” drove Trooper Gary L. Goad to become a trooper. The Franklin County native will report for duty in Halifax County.
Trooper Zachary C. Harris, a native of Pittsylvania County, will travel northeast to Albemarle County for his first assignment. After receiving his associate’s degree in Criminal Justice from Danville Community College, he chose a career as a trooper because he wanted “to make my state a safe place to live and work.”
Trooper Tyler E. Knight of Patrick County wanted to “serve the Commonwealth and make a difference in the lives of its citizens,” so he joined the Virginia State Police. He’ll report for duty in Caroline County.
Montgomery County resident Trooper Jeffery A. Weast will assume his first assignment in Caroline County. A graduate of Radford University, he chose a career in law enforcement to make a difference in his community.
As the need for highly-skilled and capable law enforcement officers increases, the Department continues to seek qualified applicants for the trooper and commercial vehicle enforcement officer positions. All interested applicants are encouraged to contact the Virginia State Police Recruitment Office. More information can be found by visiting the Department’s website www.vsp.virginia.gov.