The Skyline Regional Criminal Justice Academy graduated 13 recruits Wednesday afternoon from its second law enforcement class.
Newly certified Deputy Timothy Veach with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office spoke to his graduating classmates.
“Looking at my classmates and what we have become, I am proud,” Veach said
They came into the academy with different personalities, different thoughts, and abilities to work hard together, support each other and push each other, he said.
“Through this, we became a family,” Veach said.
They choose “Be prepared” for their class motto and with the help and dedication of instructors they are, he said.
“We are prepared. We are ready for the next step,” Veach said. “There is no limit to what we can do.”
Graduating alongside him were Alexandria Chambers with the Warren County Sheriff Office, Andrew Davies with the Winchester Police Department, Timothy Foster with the Rappahannock County Sheriff Office, Bianca Hager with the Warren County Sheriff Office, Noel Kowalewski with the Warrenton Police Department, Travis Lehman with the Front Royal Police Department, Jared Miller with the Winchester Police Department, Jonathan Price with the Warren County Sheriff Office, Sandra Seabaugh with the Lord Fairfax Police Department, Anthony Stevens with the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, and Jasmin Stevenson with the Winchester Police Department, and Jesse Suire with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.
Law enforcement is often a family affair.
Sgt. Justin Lehman of the Manassas Police Department presented his brother Travis Lehman with his graduation certificate.
“I am extremely proud and extremely confident in his abilities,” Justin, an eight-year law enforcement veteran, said afterward about his brother.
Travis was presented with two awards during the ceremony — one being the Sgt. Ricky C. Timbrook award.
Travis Lehman was a dispatcher for the Front Royal Police Department for two years before deciding to become a road officer.
“I told him he was going to want to see what was on the other side of the radio,” Justin Lehman said.
Another family that was proud of a graduate was the Suire family.
Jesse Suire’s children, Riley and Lucas, watched him graduate.
“Daddy,” a beaming Riley said as she watched her father walk across the stage, be awarded his certificate and shake the hands of others in law enforcement.
Afterward, both children said they were proud of their father.
Lucas was asked if he might want to do the same thing.
“Maybe,” he said hugging his dad.
Sgt. Adam Orndorff, of the Winchester Police Department, was one of the academy instructors. He was chosen by the class members to speak at their ceremony.
“By choosing this career, you have made the decision to put your community before yourself. You will, at times, enforce the law; while other times, you will be seen as a counselor, a referee, a sounding board, or a friend,” Orndorff said.
“Remember, society calls upon us when they have nowhere else to turn,” he added. “You will often be someone’s last hope when they are in distress. To effect an arrest, you need knowledge of law and probable cause; these are all things you were taught by your instructors during the academy.
But to effectively handle others adversities, you need good character. Character is not a trait you learn about in a classroom; it’s something that is inside of you that grows as you face experiences in life. At times, you’ll have no choice but to arrest someone or write a ticket; but I hope you remember to do so with respect. People will not remember the badge on your chest or the gun on your side; they’re going to remember how you treated them when they encountered you. With that being said, we must always operate with the utmost professionalism and integrity.”
After the ceremony, Orndorff said he was flattered the recruits chose him to speak.
“I try to teach them how serious this is as well as respect for the public, good character and integrity,” Orndorff said after the ceremony.
In its two sessions for both law enforcement and correction officers, the Skyline Regional Criminal Justice Academy had graduated an estimated total of 50 people.
“Training new recruits and watching them graduate is rewarding,” said Tommie Bower, executive director of the academy.