CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The University of Virginia Police Department (UPD) recently promoted five of its minority officers to the role of lieutenant or sergeant, an honor that the department says each of those officers are more than deserving of.
“They demonstrate that commitment day in and day out, and we couldn’t be more proud,” UPD Chief Timothy Longo said. “It’s certainly a privilege for me to have been part of the opportunity for them.”
Longo recently promoted Jamal Heard, Tim Northern, Audrell Ragland, Edward Thompson, and TC Williams to positions of leadership.
“You know commitment’s everything in this business, and heart, and so much of what they bring to the department every day is their heart and their mind,” Longo said.
“I grew up in Albemarle County and my dad used to bring me to UVA basketball games all the time, and so to be able to serve the university in this capacity is pretty amazing,” Ragland said. “I’ve never thought that I will be in this position to be able to serve the university and the community.”
Ragland continues to serve UPD as a K9 handler, but now with the rank of Patrol Sergeant.
“For other young kids out here that see us in the community, and see us doing our work, we just want to be an example for them to show them that we’ve done it and so you all can continue to carry torch,” Ragland said.
Longo says UPD is all about creating opportunities, and these five officers took advantage.
“It’s really an exciting time,” the chief said. “The university is committed to an inclusive work environment to an inclusive community. This demonstrates the department’s commitment to that but also demonstrates. Again, our willingness and ability to create opportunities for leadership within this organization.”