New Officers Train for Albemarle, Charlottesville Police Forces
Some new police officers will be on the streets for both Charlottesville and Albemarle County. Training is underway and soon they will begin serving the communities. Three new officers will be starting in Albemarle and there will be seven in Charlottesville.
The candidates have been through a rigorous application process, spanning over eight months. Over 200 applicants hoped to become a police officer in Albemarle - but only those with a selfless outlook towards their community make the cut.
"You become a service-oriented person or you don't make it in this career, because you are sacrificing yourself for others on a day-to-day basis. So it is a big transition from civilian life to law enforcement, so you learn very quickly whether or not this profession is for you,” said Lt. Robert Beck of the Albemarle County Police Department.
For most, the career is just too demanding. Only 3 percent of applicants actually become officers.
"It's an extensive hiring process. It takes a lot of time and a lot of training, and a lot of investment in these individuals,” said Beck.
Charlottesville is in the process of training seven new officers for its force. Officer Chris Wagner is in his second day of field training. He says the biggest part of transitioning from civilian life to being an officer is knowing he represents something larger than himself.
"I think the visibility that you have in being in this uniform is huge because the public is going to look at you as a symbol and they rely on you to go to calls and just be there for them,” said Wagner.
Like his peers, Wagner began the process last April, and has three more months of training before becoming a full-fledged officer.
Albemarle County inducts new officers next week. Charlottesville will welcome them in about three months.
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