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Buckingham man graduates from VSP training

Forty-four men and women of the Virginia State Police 132nd Basic Session graduated in a virtual ceremony Friday, Jan. 15.

Graduates in the class included Timothy L. LaFountain of Buckingham County and Aaryn J. Kerry of Cumberland County.

Due to COVID-19 protocols, a virtual ceremony was the safest means of allowing the graduates and their families to celebrate the culmination of 27 weeks of the trooper-trainees’ hard work, sacrifice and dedication. Also in virtual attendance were state police executive staff, academy staff and Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran. A previously-recorded video of Gov. Ralph Northam congratulating the new troopers was played during the ceremony.

“This Basic Session class has been like no other. Every one of these steadfast men and women heeded strict attention to detail as they navigated the ever-evolving COVID-19 safety protocols,” Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia state police superintendent, said. “The attention to detail wasn’t just to ensure a safe environment for the entire class, their families, academy staff and instructors, but also for the greater good, something all Virginia State Troopers understand as they put their lives to the test daily to protect and serve the citizens of the commonwealth. I could not be more proud of this graduating class and I know they will represent us well as they serve their communities.”

The new troopers received more than 1,300 hours of classroom and field instruction in more than 100 different subjects, including de-escalation techniques, strategies to assist people in mental health crisis, ethics and leadership, fair and impartial policing, constitutional law, emergency medical trauma care, and public and community relations. The members of the 132nd Basic Session began their 27 weeks of academic, physical and practical training June 29.

For their final phase of training, each trooper will spend an additional six weeks paired with a field training officer learning his or her new patrol area.