City youth learn how justice is served with pizza

City youth learn how justice is served  with pizza

About 21 members of the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office Youth Academy received “graduate” work on how to manage a jail and provide security in the city’s courtrooms just a week before their regular school classes began.

The young people, all volunteers, enhanced their educations by participating in Sheriff Dana Lawhorne’s three-day academy.

Aged from nine to 17, the students received presentations from sworn staff and finished with a visit to the Alexandria General District Courtroom of Chief Judge Becky J. Moore. Moore set aside time  to explain how the Virginia court system works and welcomed the youngsters, demonstrating how court is opened. Several of the youngsters donned judicial robes with the judge’s assistance.

At the graduation ceremony, Circuit Court Judge Nolan Dawkins and Circuit Court Clerk Edward Semonian watched as Sheriff Lawhorne, aided by City Attorney James Banks, presented diplomas.
Banks, in his remarks, urged the youngsters to make “good life choices.

“It is important to plan, study and make the right choices to succeed in life and you can do it, he said.

Sheriff Lawhorne, who served Alexandria as a police officer for 27 years, said he was attracted to his career in law enforcement as a young teenager.  

“I am so happy that I made that choice and I want to urge you to consider a career in one of the many phases of law enforcement,” he said.

K-9 “Deputy” Sherman, under the command of his handler, Deputy John O’Hara, performed his bomb-sniffing duties at the courthouse.

The youngsters were treated to lunch in the “Correction Caf” (the sheriffs staff dining room) and also to pizza.