Forty new police officers in Fairfax County pinned on their badges for the first time Feb. 28 to serve and protect.
The Mount Vernon station, which has seen its ranks depleted by the call to service in Iraq, is getting some help for its overburdened station. “We are getting 10 new officers out of this academy,” said Master Police Officer Greg Kottemann, of the Mount Vernon District Station’s Crime Prevention Unit.
Each Fairfax County Police Officer will be assigned to his or her first district station and continue to train with a Field Training Instructor for three months. Additional personnel graduating with this class include one Animal Control Officer, four Sheriff’s Deputies, three Fire Marshals, one Herndon Police Officer and one Vienna Police Officer.
The six month basic recruit session is a non-residential training program. Recruits commute to the facility in Chantilly Monday through Friday for an eight-hour day, varying between day and evening hours. The curriculum includes Virginia law, report writing, criminal and crash investigation, warrant service, crime prevention, defensive tactics, emergency vehicle operations, first aid and firearms skills.
In order to attend the Academy and become officers, candidates go through a rigorous application process which includes testing, background check, medical check, polygraph test and interviews.
On average, of the 1,800 people who take the entry level test every year, only ten make it to the Academy.
The Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy trains approximately 140 to 150 new law enforcement officers a year. It is the current training center for all law enforcement officers from the Fairfax County Police Department, Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office and the town police departments of Herndon and Vienna. Animal Control Officers and Fire Marshals are also trained there.