Congratulations to Deputy Mary Jo Cummings, Deputy Shawn Harden, Deputy Cole Masterson, Deputy Nazirullah Qazei, Deputy Junius Smith, Deputy Djibril Sorgho, and Deputy DeVon Williams on their academy graduation!
The new deputies successfully completed approximately six months of intensive and thorough training, including emergency vehicle operations, firearms training, defensive and control tactics, de-escalation techniques, crash investigation, basic legal training, jail and courthouse procedures, and other important areas.
Because of safety precautions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the traditional academy instruction had to be modified, and in some cases, delivered to smaller groups of recruits.
Rather than participate in a traditional large graduation ceremony, members of Session 142 celebrated with smaller graduation ceremonies held on different dates at the academy. Sheriff Dana Lawhorne had the honor of congratulating each recruit at their graduation. Each ceremony included a recorded keynote speech from Dennis Butler, currently the Director of Riley County Police Department in Kansas and formerly an Alexandria police captain who both graduated from and later taught at the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Training Academy.
Upon returning to the Sheriff’s Office, all seven deputies continued with field training before beginning their permanent assignment.
Photo: Sheriff Lawhorne congratulated Deputy Shawn Harden, Deputy Djibril Sorgho, Deputy Mary Jo Cummings, Deputy Cole Masterson, Deputy Nazirullah Qazei, Deputy Junius Smith and Deputy DeVon Williams at their respective graduation ceremonies.